Sunday, October 17, 2004

Who's driving this thing?

The PG has a doom-and-gloom article about the rate hike and service cuts that the Port Authority has promised if it doesn't get more state funding. I value public transportation--thanks to the generosity of my employer, I ride for free--but as I've said before, someone needs to take a good hard look at how the authority operates. Does it operate more bus lines than it should? Do all the T lines have enough riders to justify their existence? Does the authority spend its money wisely? I've been on buses that were standing room only, but also ones in which I could have stripped naked, and no one but the driver would have noticed. Is there a happy balance we can strike?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I suggest that a "happy medium" might include the proposition that you never disrobe in a public place, even an empty bus.

2:10 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...


2:51 PM

Blogger fester said...

Jonathan, go grab those parkas and get a sign, for I again agree with Anonymous. Keep your clothes on.

But on the greater issue of utilization and efficiency, I agree with you, there are definately some routes that are being run which make next to no sense because they are consistently 90% empty. The commuter buses from the outer suburbs seem to be the easiest targets because they are bringing in people who already own cars (due to the dispersed nature of their residential neighborhoods) who choose to take a bus in. This number of commuters is small compared to the number of people on the high traffic buses which serve the city and inner ring suburbs. I have my thoughts on a comprehensive routing reform over at my blog. (Note, these thoughts are that of an amateur who is not seeing the needed routing and passenger load data)

9:14 AM

Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

The PAT officials cut the UV Loop. What do you want, blood from a turnip?

The real issue to attack is the PAT capital budget. Why build the tunnles under the Allegheny River for light rail to the stadiums. Makes no sense. But, around here, we figure, 80% of the money is coming from the feds. So, it isn't really our money. WRONG. Take the money from the back pocket or take it from the front pocket -- same thing -- our money.

We can't spend foolishly. We thrive on PORK. The rest of the world doesn't work this way in modern times.

I think PAT board members should be elected. Perhaps like judges with votes to retain the member after year 1 and then every 2nd year. With a super minority (say 25%) vote to remove -- that board member goes.

Some of the issue deals with authorities. They've been killers to the region.

12:57 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

The North Shore subway extension is a travesty. It's an insult to the working poor and lower middle class of this region that any tax dollars will be spent to cater to the whims of the region's professional sports teams while buses sit idle on weekends.

1:34 PM


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