April 30, 2012

Allegheny Port Authority may hike fares, cut service

The Port Authority of Allegheny County’s board of directors voted to authorize a fare increase and 35% service reduction scheduled to go into effect later this year. The Port Authority is legally obligated to balance its budget, and these actions are prompted by a $64 million deficit projected for the Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget.

The vote, which is reversible, authorizes Port Authority staff to begin preparing for the changes — writing new schedules, preparing for staffing reductions and a garage closure, and other actions. While staff must prepare for the worst, the service reductions may be scaled back or rescinded entirely if Port Authority’s finances improve.

If nothing changes, the fare increase would go into effect on July 1 and the service reduction would go into effect September 2. Under the service reduction proposal, about 46 routes would be eliminated with service scaled back on all remaining routes. The ACCESS paratransit program would for the first time see deep cuts that would restrict transit options for persons with disabilities.

The only change to the proposal is that the 28X Airport Flyer’s airport segment will be preserved due to recently secured federal Job Access Reverse Commute funds. The 28X is the only Port Authority route funded through this program.

Details on fare and service proposals are available on the agency’s Service Reductions page.

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