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Economy & Business

Proposed Cuts In State Budget Plan Would 'Devastate' Public Transit, Says Port Authority

Margaret Sun
90.5 WESA

The House Republican plan to fill a $2.2 billion shortfall in the Pennsylvania budget is looking to take more than $350 million from state-supported transit.

That would cut $80 million from the Port Authority of Allegheny County, or 19 percent of its projected revenue for 2018.

"This affects not just the livelihoods of the two to three thousand workers of the Port Authority, but the hundred thousand people who take public transit each day," Port Authority spokesperson Adam Brandolph said.

In the case of cuts, Brandolph said the Port Authority would eliminate nearly half of all bus routes, suspend weekend and evening service and increase fares.

While this plan is supported by about 20 of the House's more conservative members, more moderate Republicans have expressed a dislike for the plan. Governor Tom Wolf told WESA's Katie Meyer the plan is "nonsense."

In a press release, Port Authority Interim CEO David Donahoe said the cuts "would not only devastate the Port Authority system but undermine the predictable funding pact made between the state and local transit agencies just four years ago with the passage of Act 89."

Act 89 is a transportation and infrastructure bill that was signed into law by former Republican governor Tom Corbett (R). It funds road projects, bridge repairs and public transit.

If the House passes the plan, it will still need Senate approval.

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