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1/4/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pittsburgh port authority proposes fare hikes, job cuts and service changes to balance budget



Transit agency budget woes continue in the state of Pennsylvania. Less than two weeks after the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will balance its fiscal-year 2007 budget by using capital dollars to fund operations and deferring several projects, the Port Authority of Allegheny County announced plans to raise fares, eliminate jobs and reduce service to make up a budget deficit.

The authority proposes to eliminate at least 400 jobs by June 2007, reduce the number of weekday bus and light-rail trips by 25 percent and raise fares on Jan. 1, 2008. Fare proposals include eliminating the current zone structure and charging all passengers a flat $2 fare, and maintaining the zone structure and increasing the base fare from $1.75 to $2.50.

If no action is taken, port authority officials anticipate an $80 million FY2008 budget deficit. The authority will hold public hearings between Jan. 22 and Feb. 7 on the proposals.


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