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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Pittsburgh port authority weighs fare hike, service and staff cuts
The Port Authority of Allegheny County’s board voted late last week to authorize a fare increase and 35 percent service reduction that could go into effect later this year.
The board took the action to address a projected $64 million deficit for the fiscal-year 2013 operating budget. The authority is legally obligated to balance its budget, authority officials said in a prepared statement.
The board authorized authority staff to prepare plans for staff cuts, new service schedules, a garage closing and other changes. While the staff will prepare for the worst, the service reductions could be scaled back or rescinded entirely if the authority’s finances improve, officials said.
“I want to direct staff to also plan for the best outcome,” said Vice Chairman Guy Mattola. “Make sure we are prepared to sustain current service levels so that the board could later convene on short notice to reverse these cuts if an adequate funding solution is found.”
If nothing changes, the fare increase would go into effect July 1, and service cuts would begin Sept. 2. Under the service reduction proposal, 46 routes would be eliminated with service scaled back on all remaining routes.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.