Historically government subsidizes public transit because it is a much needed service that is not a money maker. Pittsburgh has had numerous for-profit transit systems fail because daily expenses (vehicle upkeep, fuel and salaries) far exceed the fares that can be charged to produce a profit.
What does Mr. Balaschak think about General Motors and Chrysler? Last I read they were for-profit businesses that after years of mismanagement and poor business decisions (producing low-mileage, gas-guzzling cars instead of researching and developing high-mileage hybrids and/or electric cars) asked the federal government (i.e., taxpayers) to bail them out.
As to overpaid employees, an average Pittsburgh middle-class salary ranges from $40,000 to $70,000 (2008 Census); the starting pay for Port Authority bus drivers is around $53,500. Overpaid? I think not.
Fare hikes and service cuts will only undermine public transit and further its demise into a public service that ceases to exist. Riders such as I who fortunately own a car will have to spend all their extra money on parking fees and gas to get around, whereas the poor and underserved will be stuck on their streets with no bus coming to pick them up.