PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are thousands of people who rely on the bus transportation every single day. But since the Port Authority cuts were put into effect, getting around has been harder for some. Now officials say things are changing.
“Our population was held hostage for eight hours,” said Charlotte Foster of Penn Hills.
That is because there was no service to or from Penn Hills between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. That could soon change.
“To get to their doctor’s appointment, to get to their jobs, to get to the grocery stores — all the things that keep you healthy. They are not available. They cut them out at Garfield and they felt the pain for the past two years,” said Aggie Brose with the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.
A current Port Authority proposal would restore weekend service on the 89 Garfield and extend service on the 79 in Penn Hills.
“The 89 Garfield will also help the seniors cause there’s a lot of seniors that are included in the houses that can’t get out, go shopping, churches, or visit family and friends,” said Donna Terry.
Grass roots efforts from groups like Pittsburghers for Public Transit made it clear there simply was not enough bus service.
“Once they pass the budget, then it is going to be hard to make any changes, but if we can figure out how — show enough support for this, secure the funding to make it happen, then they would be able to say that in addition to Penn Hills and Garfield, North Hills could also get service,” said Molly Nichols with Pittsburghers For Public Transit.
As it stands right now, the North Hills is left out in the cold with no service revisions.
“They really need access to our services because if they get early intervention pieces then the police don’t need to get involved as much. They won’t be called out to increasingly violent situations,” said Carly Cottone with Crisis Center North.
They’ve got to pass the revised budget first. People should expect it to be a couple months before everyone is able to hop on the bus once again.