Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Port Authority gets sponsors for free North Shore subway rides

Port Authority gets sponsors for free North Shore subway rides: "Rides on at least part of the Port Authority's new North Shore Connector subway extension will be free, under a deal announced today.

The Stadium Authority and Alco Parking, which controls or manages most of the North Shore parking, would pay the transit agency an annual lump sum to underwrite free service between Downtown and the new North Side station, situated next to PNC Park."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The evil plan is working

Anything but the car: The evil plan is working: "Once complete, one more pen stroke will effect an ownership transfer to private hands, and the deep-pocketed puppeteers will get what they have always wanted: Total control of all existing public transit in metro Pittsburgh. They will pay its non-union drivers miserable wages with shoddy benefits, charge you $5 to ride, and expect you to say "thank you very much" for rescuing them from the horror they have painted Port Authority."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Transit Officials Look At Free Rides In Pittsburgh - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh

Transit Officials Look At Free Rides In Pittsburgh - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh: "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Port Authority of Allegheny County is trying to find a corporate sponsor to make trips free for riders between downtown and new stations on the city's North Shore."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Would you like an extra $5,000 - $10,000 per year?

You might be able to reduce your living expenses by reducing the number of cars in your household. Here are some services than can help. Your savings could be substantial.

  • Car Sharing - join a car sharing company like ZipCar and get a car when and only when you really need it.
  • Car Pooling - share rides informally with others
  • Emergency Ride Home - have projection against getting stranded
  • Public Transit - you should join the fight for more and better public transit. You can join us and spread the news that making transit fare-free is actually cheaper than charging fares. Or at least join a transit advocacy group like Pittsburghers-for-Public-Transit and help us win more and better public transit.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Split widening in the %1 between oil and infrastructure

Pennsylvania transit-funding proposals take backseat to other issues | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/28/2011: "Wonderling, a former Montgomery County Republican state senator who was a member of Corbett's advisory panel, said the bills by Corman and Evans "have created a dynamic . . . that the governor will have to react to."

"People are crying out for decisive action," Wonderling said after the session. He said the governor and the legislature could multitask and deal with transportation funding at the same time as the other issues Schoch cited."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bikes now allowed at all times on light rail cars

Bikes now allowed at all times on light rail cars: "Port Authority announced today that it has lifted the ban on taking bicycles onto Light Rail Transit vehicles during rush hours.

Bikes will now be allowed at all times, provided there is room in the handicapped seating areas, spokeswoman Heather Pharo said. Disabled riders will continue to have priority."

'via Blog this'

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bikes and buses a good mix - Stuart Strickland in Post-Gazette

Transit harmony
Now that all buses have bike racks, I think it would be helpful to take a step back to look at the bigger picture. Put aside all the usual talk about bus cuts and irritation on the part of bicycle riders and drivers alike.
A milestone has been achieved, one we can all celebrate. No longer must we depend on an automobile to get us where we need to go. No longer need we use a long walk from a bus stop as an excuse not to use transit. Rolling along two miles of suburban streets to get your bus has now been made worth it. That $30 weekly bus pass easily beats the $50 weekly fill-up, never mind every other cost the car racks up (pardon the pun).
Using bikes and buses together makes perfect sense. Buses can't go everywhere, but bikes can. Bikes can't do hills, distances or heavy traffic easily, but buses can. Combine the two, and you have much less need to drop 10 grand every year on a (second, third) car.
What drivers will now see is a lot more bicycles. This is a good thing, as many of those drivers will also be cyclists, and so be more aware of their fellow cyclists when behind the wheel. It takes study, practice and the right clothing and equipment, but getting around by bike just got a lot more attractive. Thank you to all the organizations and decision-makers who made this possible!

Read more:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Transit Center Coming After Years Of Waiting - News Story - WJAC Johnstown

Transit Center Coming After Years Of Waiting - News Story - WJAC Johnstown: "Local officials told WJAC they, along with the Area Transportation Authority, have been in talks over a center for six years. On Friday morning, members of the ATA and state and local officials dug their shovels into the ground for the ground breaking of the new center.
“Everyone can get in and out of the weather, and they can have restroom facilities to use,” said David Gordon, of the ATA Board of Directors."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Streetsblog Capitol Hill » Communities Urge Congress: “Don’t X Out Transit”

Yesterday's "Don't X Out Transit" rally in Los Angeles. Photo: Crystal McMillan / Bus Riders Union
Streetsblog Capitol Hill » Communities Urge Congress: “Don’t X Out Transit”: "A 30 percent cut in federal funding would mean that we would have to cut up to five of our 17 community routes. Our funding situation is already so precarious that our “neighborhood” routes only run four or five trips a day, Monday through Friday, so any further cutbacks would mean elimination of all service on these routes.

- Centre Area Transportation Authority, State College, PA"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



Join Pittsburghers for Public Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 to demand:
  • that Public transit face no more cuts!
  • that transit service in Allegheny County be restored to pre-March 27th levels!
  • that public transit be expanded and improved!
  • that our public transit NOT be privatized: keep public transit public!
  • that transit be permanently and reliably funded!
  • that our transit workers and their union be defended!
Six months ago, Pittsburgh suffered a 15 percent cut to it's transit service. More than 12,000 people around the county lost their service, dozens of routes have been eliminated entirely, and more than 180 unionized transit workers lost good, family-sustaining jobs. This cut was due to a funding crisis which stems directly from the ongoing economic collapse, bank and corporate bailouts, wars and occupations abroad, and the total unwillingness of politicians from both major parties to levy taxes on the rich.

Nothing has changed since March. The Federal, Pennsylvania, and local governments are all facing budget shortfalls, and the 'leadership' of these bodies wants to present the bill for this crisis (which was caused by the rich and the bosses) to working people in the form of service cuts, fare hikes, and layoffs. The possibility of even more severe cuts in the near future remains very real.

Nearly 600 people joined us in Squirrel Hill to demonstrate against the cuts last March. We need YOU to join us on September 24th to send a message: we will tolerate no more cuts to our public transit!

Sponsored by: Pittsburghers for Public Transit, ATU Local 85, Western PA We Are One Coalition

Questions? Want to help?

Friday, September 9, 2011

According to the oil-trolls and #climate delayers - climate change is not happening

Matt Rourke / AP Photo
The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped enough rain on the Northeast Thursday to bring flooding and mudslides to the Philadelphia area, and officials said three people in central Pennsylvania had died as a result of the storm.


Public transit pays off - Lebanon Daily News

Public transit pays off - Lebanon Daily News: "By taking the bus, Heilman said, people will realize it is a comfortable and stress-free way to ride.

"I think many of them will be surprised at the convenience bus service offers; the freedom from the daily commute headaches; and the amenities offered on many bus lines today, including free WiFi," she said.

To alleviate the worry of being stranded at work and unable to get home in case of an emergency, Commuter Services offers a free emergency transportation service that will pick up a commuter at work and drive them home, Heilman said. Riding public transit can also save money, Heilman said. She urged commuters to log onto and visit the Commuter Calculator page to tabulate potential savings."

'via Blog this'

Friday, July 15, 2011

US Uncut: End Big Oil Subsidies! | AlterNet

US Uncut: End Big Oil Subsidies! | AlterNet: "In fact, ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the world and beneificary of these subsidies, made $19 billion in profits in 2009, and received a $156 million refund check from Uncle Sam instead of paying federal taxes."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't believe the road-pricing hype

They keep trying to link collecting tolls on roads to public transit funding. This is totally bogus. Do not fall for it. Tolls are for rationing, not revenue. This is a divide-and-conquer scam.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Millions of Americans are saving money by taking Public Transportation | News | Breaking Travel News

Millions of Americans are saving money by taking Public Transportation | News | Breaking Travel News: "Transportation ridership is increasing around the country, from Chicago, IL, where the Chicago Transit Authority added more than 300,000 riders in the first quarter of the year – enough to fill Wrigley Field more than six times over – to Olympia, WA, where Intercity Transit has witnessed record level fixed-route ridership in 3 of the first 5 months of the year. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (Boston, MA) saw the highest monthly ridership in April since September 2008 and the Nashville MTA (Nashville, TN) saw a 29% increase in train and bus routes in April. Examples of double digit increases in ridership in May are also evident in places like Triangle Transit (Research Triangle Park, NC) which had a 31.7% increase in ridership; Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (Tampa, FL) with a 16% increase; City Utilities of Springfield (Springfield, MO) with a 13% increase; and Muncie Indiana Transit Systems (Muncie, IN) saw a 11.1% ridership increase."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How St. Louis transit advocates won more funding

Interviewer: "You ride the bus every day. What do you do?"
Rider: "I'm a nurse."
Interviewer: "What would happen if I got hurt and went to the hospital, and you couldn't get to work?"
Rider: "You'd die."
Read whole article: IndyStar

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Even in the US, where transit is terrible, #carfree is better

No Car, No Problem: Life in the Slow Lane: "In college, I decided to save money by not purchasing a car and found that I also escaped worries of shoveling the snow from around its tires, finding parking, and arguing with mechanics. Now, when parents or friends offer me their used vehicles, I turn them down, preferring to avoid the hassle of ownership."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We need action for transit funding

Allegheny County Transit Council: "We all know the Port Authority doesn’t have the funding needed for adequate service. We’ve been complaining about that for months – for years.
Finally, something has happened in Harrisburg which may be a step to solving the problem of adequate funding statewide, for bridges and roads as well as public transportation. Now we can DO something." read more at

Cars are killing us

A transportation system based on the private car has so powerfully transformed the American environment that a new human species is emerging, say the authors of a new book. Homo Automotivis is less social, more aggressive, weaker, poorer and worships at the Church of Automobility, say Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler, the authors of Stop Signs — Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Anything but the car: Funding transit: Stu's plan

Anything but the car: Funding transit: Stu's plan: "Belief #1: I chose transit as my primary means of transportation over 20 years ago when I still owned four cars. Doing so allowed me to shed three of them over a couple of years, thus saving my household $100,000 in the time since. In that time, I've devoted thousands of hours to thinking how best to get around when a single car must be shared by multiple family members, and countless hours more trying to convince people that the $5K/year I save by using transit is real, worth the trouble, and something anyone can do if they put their mind to it. Short of being forced, most don't care about transit, and the never-ending political battles only serve to deter anyone from wanting to try using it. I believe the battles must cease entirely if we want transit to succeed." ...keep reading

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We are fighting over Medicare costs, while the automobile continues to kill and maim

ThinkProgress » Paul Ryan’s Plan To End Medicare Stirs Anger At Pennsylvania Town Hall Event: "Yesterday, Scott Keyes reported that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) effort to sell his budget proposal was not going over well with conservative constituents in his district. During a town hall meeting in Milton, attendees booed Ryan for rejecting the notion that the top income earners should be taxed more.
Last night, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) received a similarly hostile reception from constituents during a public forum in Carbon County, as he tried to (incorrectly) reassure the group that Ryan’s budget would not affect the Medicare benefits of those over the age of 55."
Read more of the above Carbon County anger at the GOP Medicare plans at thinkprogress. The GOP has been taken over by the fossil-fuel industry and is now the Gas and Oil Party. They have bankrupted us with the auto-sprawl system, and now want to take away medical coverage so they will have more money to fuel traffic jams and parking lots and to fight energy wars in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caspian Sea region. The USA is NOT Broke! There is plenty of money. It is all concentrated in the hands of a very small number of people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Re-Imagine Today

Here are 15 Very Simple Things You Can Do to Make Your City a Better Place to Live Today

Re-Imagine Today: "1. Shop at local businesses FIRST: Keep money in the local economy, in the pockets of your neighbors, rather than in the hands of a distant corporation.

2. If you drive a motorized vehicle or bicycle, stop at crosswalks: Let people walking take priority. Their time is just as important as yours.

3. Try walking or biking to work. You’ll get some exercise, see your city from a different, more detailed perspective… all while doing your part to ease traffic congestion!"

Keep Reading at Re-Imagine Today

Monday, April 18, 2011

Study: Gas from ‘fracking’ worse than coal on climate - The Hill's E2-Wire

Study: Gas from ‘fracking’ worse than coal on climate - The Hill's E2-Wire: "Cornell University professors will soon publish research that concludes natural gas produced with a drilling method called “hydraulic fracturing” contributes to global warming as much as coal, or even more.

The conclusion is explosive because natural gas enjoys broad political support – including White House backing – due to its domestic abundance and lower carbon dioxide emissions when burned than other fossil fuels.

Cornell Prof. Robert Howarth, however, argues that development of gas from shale rock formations produced through hydraulic fracturing – dubbed “fracking” – brings far more methane emissions than conventional gas production."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pittsburghers for Public Transit Meeting - Next Steps

Pittsburghers for Public Transit Meeting - Next Steps:
Sunday, April 3 · 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Room 5201 Posvar Hall, Pitt's Campus, Oakland
Entrances on Bouquet Street, Forbes Avenue, or Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA
Created By
Pittsburghers for Public Transit (facebook)
More Info
Join PPT as we discuss our next steps in the struggle to protect and expand public transit in Allegheny County. In the wake of the cuts, we need to lay the groundwork for a fight to restore our transit service and to prevent future cuts that are being prepared as we speak. We have only begun to fight! All are welcome! If you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail

See you there!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pittsburgh - Public Transit is the way to a Green City

What we're Facing

The Port Authority faces an unprecedented 47.1 million dollar financial shortfall due to insufficient state and federal funding – a result of the economic crisis caused by the greed of Wall Street banks. The Port Authority proposes a 35 percent cut in all transit service, layoffs of at least 500 unionized workers, fare increases of between 25 cents and 2 dollars, and the complete elimination of service to more than 50 communities. This will be a crippling blow to Pittsburgh and our region, with disastrous consequences for tens of thousands of working people, commuters, students, youth, people with disabilities, and senior citizens!

Why this Matters

Public transit is a vital service that many workers, commuters, unemployed and low-income people, students, youth, people with disabilities, and seniors depend upon in their daily lives. The Port Authority records indicate that an average of 225,000 people use their transit service every day, with more than 67 million riders annually. Over fifty percent of those passengers are commuting to work, fifteen percent to school, and nearly six percent to medical appointments. Mass transit is often one of the few safe, affordable, and reliable transportation options for seniors, the disabled, and young, many of whom are unable to drive. PAAC found in a survey that “Of current transit riders, more than 20 percent would not have made the trip without transit, and nearly 70 percent do not have access to cars at the time their trip is made. One-third have yearly household incomes below $15,000 – well below $17,600, the poverty level for a family of four in 2000.” The proposed cuts and fare increases would penalize those most in need of their service, specifically working and low-income people. PAAC warns that 90+ communities in Allegheny County will have limited to no service by January 2011 if they do not find a dedicated source of funding.

Keep reading on Facebook

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CATA may go fare free - Local | Centre Daily Times - State College, PA | Penn State, Nittany Lions, weather, news, jobs, homes, apartments, real estate

CATA may go fare free - Local | Centre Daily Times - State College, PA | Penn State, Nittany Lions, weather, news, jobs, homes, apartments, real estate: "Future Centre County bus riders may have the option of showing identification instead of fumbling for change each time they board the bus.
A rider boards a CATA bus along College Avenue. CDT/Christopher Weddle

A state-funded study set to start later this year will analyze the universal access concept, which allows mass transit users to ride without paying a fare at that time."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Keep advocating public transit until you are blue in the face

Until we’re “Blue in the Face” | Public Transit 4 Pittsburgh: "That’s right. You’ve seen him in the news, and if you haven’t you probably have heard about it by now. County Councilman Nick Futules is trying to put a halt to the upcoming Port Authority route cuts and layoffs planned for later this month. Councilman Futules represents District 7, which includes the area surrounding the Harmar garage that would close under the Port Authority plans."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

State deficits caused by autosprawl crash, not public workers

The Housing Bubble and Negative Equity are a Major Predictor of State Budget Gaps, Not Unions. « Rortybomb: "Amidst all the public debate about how states are being bled dry by militant public unions, you wouldn’t know that we just had a major housing bubble across the country followed by a financial system near-collapse and the most prolonged downturn since the Great Depression. Chris Hayes addressed this opportunism, the ignoring of the housing crisis to push long-standing right-wing priorities, in the opening segment of the Rachel Maddow show last night, and I think it’s worth throwing a graph together."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Different attitudes towards public transit

Anaïs: Public Transit IV: PAT: "For example, the fact that American riders are poorer indicates that in U.S. public transportation services are focused on people that are unable to drive a car -because they cannot afford one or because they are to young or to poor. Now, if we eliminate the riders under 18, and we consider the the other market segments -the poor and the disabled - in correlation with American culture , the conclusion is striking. In the U.S. public transit is considered by the public as well as their representatives as an alternative for the society's destitute no different than public assistance services such as welfare and food stamps. Therefore, the public attitude towards public transportation is also different as many potential riders may consider riding a bus something that is not dignifying. Unlike their American counterparts, Germans are more likely to use public transit indifferent of income or car ownership and, to a much larger extent, as a viable alternative for commuters."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oil trolls doing the masters bidding

Ohio slashes 3-year transit plan by $70 million: "COLUMBUS, Ohio — The new state administration is slashing a three-year, $150 million commitment to Ohio transit agencies made last year by former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.
The Ohio Department of Transportation under current Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is instead pledging $80 million in federal money for buses and other public transit through 2013."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Want business? Get Transit. That is the future.

Allegheny County Transit Council: Why “ Public Transportation service cuts will affect only bus riders” is a myth...: "On the long term – if the study quoted by AP and Yahoo! News is even remotely correct -crude oil reserves will be depleted before an alternative energy personal vehicle will be available for the mass markets. And investors will avoid putting their money in area that do not offer multiple alternatives for their employees to commute or in other words economic growth will stagnate in areas where the main option for commuters is a personal vehicle."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fare hikes are not stopping us -- so they are trying to take the buses away

Transit ridership is up across the country. The oil and autosprawl profiteers fear public transit more than anything. It is the one thing that threatens their plans to squeeze the last drops of profit out of a dying resource in a dying biosphere. Oil money is oozing its sticky path through politics and undercutting public transit at every opportunity. They can't stop us from riding, so they are trying to reduce service. There is constant war for transit in every local community. The excerpt below represents just one of many battles going on.
Allegheny County Transit Council: "Our own president, Jonathan Robinson noted that any cuts were contrary to the intent of the funding solution provided by former governor Rendell who hoped to maintain service as is until further funding sources could be found by governor Corbett. Mr. Robinson also expressed his concern about the negative impact that cutting service will have on Port Authority’s already tainted public image, but he admitted that there is no guarantee form Governor Corbett that there will be any additional state funding in six months.
Amalgamated Transit Union President Pat McMahon stated that legislators need to be forced to come up with a funding solution and that we should let legislators tell to public transit riders in Pittsburgh that they do not deserve decent service."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One Perfect Day Aboard Amtrak

by @anabellebee One Perfect Day Aboard Amtrak: "There is a certain sense of companionship among train travelers …And it can lead to the most unusual discussions, such as exchanging corn-mush recipes with a Mennonite lady …or discussing about bridges with a couple traveling to Washington all the way from New Mexico. We left soon after mid-day, installed in our comfortable business class seats. It was a very long trip, as most of Pennsylvania was still covered with heavy blankets of snow. But it did offered us the unique opportunity to enjoy the landscapes, to meet people"