Port Authority pitches 'drastic' cuts in jobs, routes

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Mick
Participant
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The wiki article start out

A metropolitan planning organization (MPO) is a federally-mandated and federally-funded transportation policy-making organization in the United States that is made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities.

But the list above is composed mainly of corporate representatives, not government types.


erok
Keymaster
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the list above is the governor-elect’s transpo/infrastructure committee.

SPC’s commissioner’s listing is here: http://www.spcregion.org/about_comm_every.shtml


Swalfoort
Participant
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The Governors Transportation Transition team is the list provided above. The list of SPC Commissioners is available at: http://www.spcregion.org/about_comm_every.shtml

3 elected officials plus 2 other representatives from each of the ten member counties, plus added folks from funding agencies, transit authorities, etc.

Accountable to more than 2 million residents of the ten county metro region.

Edit: sorry, Erok and I cross posted at same time!


erok
Keymaster
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and when they make decisions that people don’t like, how do you get them off the board?


Mick
Participant
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the list above is the governor-elect’s transpo/infrastructure committee.

The governor-elect likes corporations a lot more than I do.


reddan
Keymaster
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The governor-elect likes corporations a lot more than I do.

Shocking!


edmonds59
Participant
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From the Wiki;

“With only a few unique exceptions nationwide (such as the MPO in Portland, Oregon), MPO policy committee members are not elected directly by citizens.”

Portland, huh, how coincidental.


erok
Keymaster
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yeah, funny how the two most bike-friendly big cities in the country also have the most transparent mpo’s, portland and minneapolis


ieverhart
Participant
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$20 Million for a mall. that’s about half of what was needed to fill this gap. but that’s an ok use of resources.

Facepalm.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I would rather SPC vote yes on the funds transfer, but that only gets us to June 30. The bigger question is what the Corbett administration plans to do. From where I sit, I do not see anything pleasant coming.

– They *still* think PAT and SEPTA are mismanaged, inefficient, overstaffed, overpaid and corrupt, and nothing is going to change their minds.

– They absolutely intend to bust Local 85, the drivers’ union. Getting rid of a few hundred of them beforehand just makes it easier.

– The state is broke. They need to find some way to make up a FOUR BILLION dollar shortfall. Not funding transit at all is a dead-easy decision.

– They have no concern at all for the transit dependent. All our yelling and screaming and picketing and petitions mean absolutely nothing.

– Like I said in my 3,600-word rant, they intend to kill the system in its entirety so that they can bring in the private companies (limo, taxi, van services, etc.) and let them do it. They would just love to get their hands on the few routes that actually make money now, like the EBA or 71C, and take that money for themselves, without a union to get in the way.

Someone PLEASE show me where I’m wrong. I hate being right.


Lyle
Participant
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I bought a house near profitable routes on purpose. I was counting on the profitable routes to stay in business even if the county had to close down the unprofitable ones. As I see it, I’m subsidizing suburban freeloaders because (a) I pay just as much county income tax as anyone and (b) I pay above the cost of service for my use of transit. The worst outcome I can see is for PAT to cut service on the profitable routes and continue to bleed money into the unprofitable ones. If the only bus route in town was the East Busway, that would be fine with me.


ieverhart
Participant
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They have no concern at all for the transit dependent.

What do you suppose was the vote share for Onorato and Corbett among those who routinely ride the bus? I have no data, but I think it’s safe bet to assume there are precious few Corbett voters riding the buses. And as many Onorato supporters as there might have been, non-voters surely comprise the largest group of riders.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Any “authority” or “commission” is almost by definition a scam. They are created by real live elected bodies for the purpose of farming out work to folks who have no accountability, and create a market of parasites and a petry dish of corruption.

Money goes into the government, is directed here and there by this commission or that authority, with the requisite consultants, attorneys and consultants sucking off the teet at every stop along the way.

That’s what its really all about. Transit? Please. PAT, SEPTA, SPC, etc., they exist primarily to siphon money. The “end user” gets what’s left. Maybe.

(Please forgive the rant.)


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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That will better describe what we’re going to, less what we’re coming from. Right now, every bid is public, from tunnel diggers to toilet paper. I’m not saying there aren’t any parasites or corruption, but I am saying it is nowhere near as rampant as you contend.

These Public-Private Partnerships being touted will have far less accountability and transparency than what we have now. I can almost guarantee poorer service and fares just as high if not higher than we have now.

This comment is written Dec. 4, 2010. Come back in two years and see how right I am.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@stu – I defer to your expertise, my rant is purely more emotional, I admit. But by design, authorities and commissions lack the basic accountability of elected office-holders. It pushes the responsibility and accountability off the table. And as you can see from the make-up of the governor-elects new commission, it is not exactly representative of all interested parties (ie.: cyclists, peds, etc.)


Swalfoort
Participant
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Here’s the rub. The majority of the SPC Commissioners ARE elected. They are elected to County or local officies (many are County Commissioners) and are then appointed to the SPC Commission. Their responsibility and accountability remain within the SPC, as members of the region, but also with their local constituencies.


erok
Keymaster
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sara, they are elected in their region, but have a huuuuuge amount of power over our region. someone in greene county is voting on and controls allegheny county’s transit funds. what do they care? someone in cranberry would rather $20 million go to their mall than fund our transit, because we can’t take money away from roads and highways

i just looked over the list. i’m able to vote for or against 2 people on it.


salty
Participant
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well, i guess at least we still have buses… for now:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347/1110511-455.stm


Mick
Participant
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Stu: Like I said in my 3,600-word rant, they intend to kill the system in its entirety so that they can bring in the private companies (limo, taxi, van services, etc.) and let them do it.

I wouldn’t mind that, but you can call a cab and, unless you are going to the airport, there is a pretty good chance that it won’t come at all and if it does? You may have to wait 2 hours.

I’ve been really burned just when I had a group of drinkers convinced that we should take a cab to go see a show.


ejwme
Participant
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27/22 isn’t by much of a margin.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The good news is that it’s only bad news, not horrible news. There’s still going to be a 15% cut in March, and maybe another in June, and the fare hike is certain. A lot rides on what Gov. Corbett has in store for mass transit statewide in his FY12 budget proposal, and to what extent the anti-transit House and Senate people decide to decimate the structure that governs PAT and SEPTA.

The dust isn’t anywhere near settled yet.

EDIT: Did you notice that the cost of bike racks was singled out during the SPC hearing as one of the stupid expenses PAT was accused of? That’s now the 4th time I’ve heard that specific one in the last few weeks, and portends what we’re in for in this legislature.


sloaps
Participant
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The 12 absent members couldn’t phone it in? Were they stuck in traffic or did they miss their bus?

I don’t like this decision, because it gives local politicians cover for another 6 to 18 months.

An asides – usually on cold days there are more transit riders, but yesterday I had never seen so many people driving inbound on Noblestown. At one point, I counted 30 vehicles stopped in traffic behind a PAT bus picking up 3 people. So strange…


erok
Keymaster
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stu, can you name who was trashing the bike racks?

also “…over opposition largely from members representing Armstrong, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence and Westmoreland counties.”


erok
Keymaster
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also

Patricia Kirkpatrick, also from Armstrong…addressing the issue of those who would be harmed by transit cuts, she said her own car didn’t start on Sunday and she didn’t have transit to fall back on. Nor do other Armstrong County residents.

“You do what you have to do,” Ms. Kirkpatrick said.

when a board member makes a comment like that, it makes it clear that he/she doesn’t fully understand the issue. again, these people are responsible for making major decisions with little accountability to the outcome of their decisions.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I checked with my source. I was incorrect; it may not have been an SPC commissioner who said it, but rather someone speaking to them, saying installing bikes on fleet that will be mothballed is example of ‘fiscal irresponsibility’.


Greasefoot
Participant
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An article in the Trib says this Federal money will not be available for weeks…

No money will be available until Congress passes a 2010-11 budget, or a measure known as a continuing resolution, that would extend funding levels from the previous fiscal year through the end of September 2011

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said the House passed a continuing resolution last week. The Senate must act on it by Saturday.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_713778.html


Swalfoort
Participant
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I can confirm that it was not an SPC Commissioner who made the comment about bike racks, but a member of the general public who was raising a series of what he thought to be examples of “unnecessary” expenditures of federal highway funds. Edit: I was there, I saw him speak and heard his comment re: bike racks. But, I do not know him by sight, so don’t know who he is.


erok
Keymaster
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thanks for the clarification.

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