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2/13/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Budget woes continue for Port Authority of Allegheny County


Port Authority of Allegheny County is projecting a $30 million fiscal-year 2005 budget deficit due to increasing health care, pension and fuel costs, and a state funding shortfall.

The authority already is facing a $20 million FY2004 deficit resulting from continued state funding reductions. To balance its budget, the authority increased its basic fare to $2 and reduced service 20 percent by eliminating weekend service and weekday service after 9 p.m.

Last July, the authority cut $5 million in administrative costs, primarily by eliminating 24 jobs. During the past two years, the authority has eliminated 141 jobs, including 57 administrative positions — more than 15 percent of its administrative workforce. The agency also has implemented hiring, wage and salary freezes, and health care cost containment measures, and reduced training, traveling, advertising and marketing costs.

"These actions addressed Port Authority’s immediate budget deficit," said Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a prepared statement. "However, we are now facing an even larger operating budget shortfall in fiscal-year 2005, which begins in just over five months. Port Authority’s ability to continue to provide current service levels at current fares is in serious jeopardy."

The Port Authority isn’t the only Pennsylvania transit agency experiencing budget problems. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority officials recently projected a $70 million FY2005 budget shortfall.


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