Stung by criticism from Mon Valley riders over proposed cuts to service, Port Authority of Allegheny County will hold new public meetings to get community input.
A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. April 12 at Rankin Christian Center, 230 Third Ave., in Rankin to discuss bus routes serving Rankin, Braddock, North Braddock, Edgewood, Swissvale, Regent Square and Wilkinsburg, state Rep. Austin Davis said Tuesday in a prepared statement.
Another meeting will be held in McKeesport at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Palisades, corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street, Downtown.
Port Authority has proposed creation of a "bus rapid transit," or BRT, loop between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland that would offer frequent service connecting those neighborhoods.
The loop is designed to cut down congestion in that corridor and improve the quality of service. Transit officials have said buses running in the East End of Pittsburgh are often overcrowded and delayed.
But the BRT plan would have cut through service to downtown Pittsburgh from communities such as McKeesport, Duquesne, Homestead and Braddock.
Passengers riding the 61C from Duquesne or McKeesport to Pittsburgh, for instance, would have been forced to exit the bus in Oakland and change to a BRT bus. If they paid for their ride in cash, there would be no free transfer, effectively doubling the cost of their trip.
Organizations such as Just Harvest and Pittsburghers for Public Transit, as well as Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby, have been critical of the plan.
Davis said he hopes any new transportation routes will provide riders with better access to jobs and educational opportunities. In addition to Davis, state Rep. Paul Costa and state Sen. Jim Brewster, a Port Authority board member, are planning to attend the April 12 meeting.
“The new bus service options are a step forward for the Mon Valley,” Davis said. “I encourage anyone who uses the Port Authority system to attend the meeting and make their voices and concerns heard.”
Photo by "AxsKeny" via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
Originally published April 04, 2018.