Port Authority Board Hears Resident Requests

Nov 23, 2015

Reginald Tolliver, middle of Penn Hills, requests additional bus service in his community in front of the Port Authority Board.
Credit Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

  Nearly 40 people told the Port Authority Board of Trustees Friday that cuts in service over the years has cut them off from getting where they want to be.

In the past few years the port authority has had to decrease service which it blames on inadequate state funding. Residents in Penn Hills want an extension of the 79 route, Garfield residents want weekend service through the neighborhood and students and staff at the Community College of Allegheny County want a route taking them closer to the north campus.

Steve Korbel. A commissioner in Ross township said the community supports adding bus service along Perry Highway to reach the community college, library and shopping center. He said this request is not for an amenity in an affluent neighborhood.

“This is really us looking to eliminate what’s been referred to as the transit desert that exists in the north hills to provide an opportunity for all,” he said.

Garfield resident Annie McGowan says the steep hill she lives on cuts her off to the rest of the city.

“We are stuck, we cannot go nowhere and we would love to participate in things,” she said.

Stacey Chandler, got 600 of her Garfield neighbors to sign a petition asking the board for weekend service.

“We really do, we need you. I mean there’s elderly people, I know they can’t walk up and down that … I can barely make it up and down that hill, I have to take breaks,” she said.

Earlier this year the authority implemented a new way to change or add service. The board will accept requests until the end of the month when it will evaluate the requests by cost. That ranking will then be considered during the spring budget process.