I applaud the county government for its acknowledgment of the necessity of mass transit projects for continued economic growth of our region ("Oakland Transit Line Explored," Feb. 24). However, a word of caution is in order before we risk the chance of investing in a project that does not harness the full potential of the transit infrastructure we already have in place. As the Post-Gazette reported in November, there has already been a more regional approach to new mass transit options put forth by Pittsburgh city Councilman Bill Peduto ("Peduto Pushes $81 Million North-South City Rail System," Nov. 2).
In his plan, available on his website, www.billpeduto.com, Mr. Peduto not only lays out a report that does everything the county plan sets out to accomplish, namely connecting the two main economic engines of our region, Downtown and Oakland, but also connects other new growth hot spots, such as the Baum-Centre Corridor, Lawrenceville and Hazelwood. These communities already have a Pitt or Carnegie Mellon presence or are poised to house new developments in the near future. Not only does this existing plan connect other areas of the region but also capitalizes on existing, and underutilized, rail to yield significant cost savings and more bang for our taxpayer buck.
I urge the county planners and any private partnership organizations that are thinking about our region's mass transit future to closely examine the plan Mr. Peduto put forth, lest we make the same mistakes of undertaking a major capital project that has limited potential such as the T line to nowhere (North Side).
DAVID M. FRANK