By Kym Gable

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BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) – The Beaver County Transit Authority wants to cut some of its bus routes, but some riders are pushing back.

For thousands of people across the region, public transportation isn’t just a convenience or an alternative, it’s a necessity. And the route changes and system restructuring proposed by the Beaver County Transit Authority has many of those riders upset and confused.

Dozens voiced those concerns at two public hearings Monday night in Rochester.

“You’re not considering the ridership you currently have,” yelled one woman. “You have a room full of people. You have people standing (here) that ride the bus every day.”

The conference room was standing room only for the first session.

Mary Jo Morandini, the General Manager of Beaver County Transit Authority says no routes are actually being eliminated. She called the proposals a “restructuring.”

“The reason for the second hearing was the number of comments and suggestions that we had received,” Morandini told KDKA. “So I think there was a misconception that the schedules were already out there and we weren’t really interested in what the public has to say, but that’s not the case, and that’s why we added the extra meeting.”

Rider Kerry Hawe stood up and said, “I would implore you to take a more active role in knowing your riders and knowing your other people because in my opinion, you’re living in an ivory tower.

The BTCA had initially told riders any changes would take place April 1. Morandini now says they will wait until May. No schedules have been finalized or posted. She said that won’t happen until they hear all the input from the community.