The digital signs on the front of each Port Authority of Allegheny County bus will no longer read “Go Steelers” or “Go Bucs,” or thank the region’s veterans.
Instead, the scrolls will tell riders where the bus originated and where it’s going, the agency’s executive Katharine Kelleman told board members last week.
“Since the first and foremost purpose of those signs is to educate our patrons on where we’re headed,” she said. “We’re just getting back to the basics a little bit. But still, here we go Steelers and let’s go Pens.”
Kelleman said the scrolls may still be used for messages, but only on special occasions.
In her monthly update to the agency’s board, Kelleman also shared early results from an economic impact study. It’s the first time in recent history that Port Authority has commissioned such work.
Philadelphia-based eConsult Solutions found that Port Authority generates $929 million worth of economic impact each year. That includes everything from getting people to jobs to increasing property values of homes near busways and light rail.
The authority is an economic engine for Allegheny County and the state, said Kelleman.
“If a vendor is manufacturing our bus seats and that vendor is outside of Philadelphia, that’s across the state but that’s still an investment that we’re making,” she said. “We’re all in it together, so it does make it easier to quantify that.”
Transit’s economic impact was touted when Pennsylvania passed a massive transportation spending package in 2013, but officials say this study shows the importance of continued investment.