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Death To Johnstown

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Transit equity

I applaud Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and the Post-Gazette for bringing the debate over adequate public transportation infrastructure into the forefront ("Road to Progress: Onorato's Transportation Plans Deserve Attention," April 24 editorial). However, all of the plans discussed seem to ignore the fundamental problem with transit in the Pittsburgh area: the inequality of the transit system based on wealth. Most of the proposed additions to the transit infrastructure, most prominently the North Shore connector and the proposed rail connection to the airport, cater to relatively affluent customers who are the least likely to use public transit.

Meanwhile, there is no discussion about converting the current East Busway, which serves relatively poor neighborhoods, to its proposed purpose as a light-rail system, or using the North Shore connector to provide a rail link from residential North Side neighborhoods to Downtown and the southern suburbs. The purpose of public transit is to provide equitable transit to all residents, particularly those who cannot afford a car.

Mr. Onorato should enact changes in public transit that enhance transportation equity in the area, not simply provide a link for rich suburbanites to get to sporting events.

ANDREW FLECHTNER

Regent Square

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Part of the problem here is Mr. Onorato REPRESENTS the burbs not the urban core (over 2/3rds of the county citizens are non-Pittsburghers), that means if EVERYONE in the city and maybe Wilkinsburg and Homestead VOTED FOR ONORATO he could still lose with ONLY 33% of the total vote. That is what having a city as your core that is ONLY 55 sq. miles does to a metroplex. Onorato is looking at the urban vs. suburban vote. This is WHY we need to consolidate the county and city. It won't change that 66%+ are suburbanite voters but the city's pull in cultural, acacademia and business would strengthen it as the hub of the region if ALL decisions were made from Grant Street and mass transit in those areas would naturally follow. Right now Monroeville, Robinson, Marshall, USC, McKeesport are all competing to be the "hub" in certain ways, you have a diluted messages to businesses and commuters. Time to consolidate.

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