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TheGerbil

Transit funding crisis

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It's simply disgusting that PAT might have to cut evening and weekend service. And as much as some people like to blame the Port Authority or the city, the real blame lies at the federal and state levels, where finding has been cut drastically.

Does anyone know of anything the average citizen can do to help? I already wrote to the governor, and after the election I will probably write to some state legislators as well. Anyone else have ideas? Or just want to vent about the issue?

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http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...editorial1.html

Hey Gerbil, I haven't been following this issue all that closely, but I do agree funding for this should be a top priority, how did your contact to the Governor's office go?

One thing you need to keep in mind Gerbil, not everyone on this forum is watching KDKA every night so they may not fully understand all the inside baseball :thumbsup: just a friendly reminder to include a few links or backstory if they want to give you an idea of what Boston, Providence or Detroit is doing about their transit system :thumbsup:

One of my questions on this is how is federal and state funding dolled out . . . I am sure the Las Vegases and Atlantas aren't having these "crunches" because the federal equation of aid favors them (ridership, growth, congressional representation etc.) Pennsylvania--especially western Pennsylvania is shrinking but more importantly if you look at the CITY population of Phoenix or Tucson or Arlington or Plano even they are LARGER then the urban core of Pittsburgh itself! I would hope they would have a way to include metro in that.

One thing that is keeping us a SLOW GROWTH region is the resistance to CONSOLIDATE! Louisville passed that law after 4 failures because they told voters if YOU DON'T WANT YOUR KIDS LEAVING OR YOUR JOBS LEAVING THEY NEED A STREAMLINED EFFICENT AND BUSINESS FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT, not 105 different municipal codes. The BIGGEST determinant is ridership as far as federal and state funding, and if people are moving to vegas, la, miami, and atlanta NOTHING we do will increase funding until we can clean this up like MetroDadeMiami Government and Vegas's annexing everything out there to make government simple and in touch. Get govt. straight, get businesses and immigrants and ridership will take care of itself.

Pittsburgh although I love it to bits, is like a Cancer patient complaining about the boils on its face, spending hours trying to cure the boils on its face (the ridership funding) CURE THE CANCER PITTSBURGH, the boils the fevers the hair loss they are all symptom of a sick and out of date government structure. This town goes from one boil to the next--if we cured the cancer years ago we could have been out of the hospital by now!

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I'm sure you've heard of this site Gerbil, but as far as letting those politicos in their Ivory Towers hear the peoples voice on these things (you don't take ANYTHING away from a crowd of THE PEOPLE)

http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/

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The same thing is happening in Chicago right now .. transit funding has been struggling since the late 90s, when the federal government quit subsizing city transit funding.

Now it is up to the individual states to finance public trans.

The CTA has also threatened to cut services and fire people to cover its budget. we recently had a fare increase, but that can only go so far because the law of demand and supply kick in.

An average citizen can continue to actively us transit, write your local and state politicians and encourage others to stop driving their cars.

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UPDATE!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04326/415343.stm

$54 million in funding has come through, been debating this in Harrisburg for the last week or so but they finally got this thing rolling. So for the next fiscal year or so there wont be any cuts, Philly Transit also gets help! This is all contingent on Gov. Rendell and technically it is a resolution the choice is the Governors but it is important in that there is no opposition now, barring anything outrageous the funding will come through.

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In Rhode Island, RIPTA cries poverty every year, and every year the General Assembly and the Governor can't get it together to find a permanent funding solution. RIPTA gets a lot of it's money from gas taxes. The rise in their cost for fuel hasn't been matched by gas tax revenues. RIPTA's management is bloated and the Unions take the agency to the cleaners, but even still, there's no money for the general fund and certainly not enough for expansion.

We're getting fare increases to help plug this year's gap, thankfully none of the threatened service cuts are going through. Bus fares are going from $1.25 to $1.50. Not bad considering that $1.50 can get you anywhere in the state. But it is bad considering Boston's bus fare is $0.90. :(

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