For now, easy riding for Port Authority patrons

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

It’s a rare situation: Port Authority riders needn’t worry about significant service reductions anytime in the near future, thanks to the $30 million annual infusion from the state that matched union givebacks in the contract bargained last year.

Projected deficits for the next two years are manageable without service cuts, but the authority also projects that Gov. Tom Corbett’s recent funding proposal, now pending in the Legislature, would be insufficient to sustain it over the longer term. If the plan passes as is, the agency projects a $26 million accumulated deficit by the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2015 — for now, that appears to be the next point at which service cuts would loom. So happy riding while it lasts.

Incidentally, the authority also has projected what would happen if the Legislature passes all of the recommendations made in 2011 by the governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission (which Mr. Corbett only partially embraced in his own plan). It would leave the authority with an estimated $26 million surplus as of July 1, 2015, enabling it to restore some of the service that has been cut over the years.

A reminder that quarterly schedule tweaks were made on several Port Authority bus routes, effective today. Interestingly, rail timetables have NOT changed since last summer’s elimination of nine little-used stops at the behest of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. The system remains way short of its potential for speed and efficiency, with too many needless pauses between stops and stations.


roadworkaheadLane closures are possible on Route 51 between Coal Valley Road and High Road in Jefferson Hills and West Elizabeth from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, weather permitting, as crews do research for future projects.

Ramp inspections at the Liberty Bridge-Interstate 579-Crosstown Boulevard interchange are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with traffic shifted around work areas. Lane closures are possible on Forbes Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Diamond Street beneath the ramps.

There’s more! See previous posts for other construction advisories in your road ahead.

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