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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The next time you hop on the bus or grab the T, know that the Port Authority of Allegheny County is working to save you money.
“Is it fair? Is it appropriate to balance your budget on the backs of your patrons? And I’m going to say no on that one,” Katharine Kelleman, Port Authority CEO, said.
Kelleman discussed fair prices for bus fare Friday.
“We know that folks that don’t have access — convenient access — to a daily pass or weekly pass will pay at the fare box every time they take a trip. Yes, that generates more revenue, but they’re paying well past where a day pass would go,” she said.
Kelleman said what’s called “fare capping” is possible in Pittsburgh. The city just needs the technology.
“Our fare card right now can’t record how much you spent in a day,” she said.
She wants to change that to make the card know when you’ve hit the daily $7 to avoid unfair charging.
“Someone pays $2.75 for the first trip and then $1 and their next trip is $2.75 and they pay that much coming home. We are then a barrier to use,” Kelleman said.
That’s going to require a lot of planning.
“Clearly, we need some help looking at the math for that,” she said.
The Port Authority board approved the hiring of a consulting firm to help Friday morning. The firm secured a three-year contract, but Kelleman said she hopes it’ll take less than that to figure it out.
“We can make it fair. We can make it easier and we can still run all the service that we’ve committed to,” Kelleman said.