KQV AM 1410

KQV Editorial

The Mass Transit Mess!

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     People who are old enough remember when the old time movie comic Oliver Hardy used to say to his befuddled buddy Stan Laurel…”another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!”  Well, people who use the mass transit system in Pittsburgh can very well say that to officials of the Port Authority in Pittsburgh – and they can also say that to the unions and the political figures who are deeply involved.


     This is not something that happened overnight.  This mess has been created down through the years by the combination of management, unions, and politicians who have driven our mass transit system into the ditch.  To say it is mismanagement at its ultimate would be an understatement.


     Because of major financial problems, the Port Authority has announced a dire, draconian plan, if necessary, to cut transit service by 35 percent, eliminate 48 routes, and increase fares to compensate for a projected $50 million budget deficit.


     This is a real body blow to the people who use the transit system…

and there are thousands of people who are totally dependent on it.  It’s

the lifeblood of our city.  It’s the  only way some people have to get

around and do what they have to do.


     The Port Authority not only has been totally mismanaged; it has

always had its hand out, expecting money from the state and other

government entities to bail it out.


     A key factor in the decline of the transit system is the pension system

which has been a major drag down though the years.  It’s been an

albatross around the Authority’s neck.

For years, management has caved in to union demands in the name of

keeping labor peace.  But there comes a day when the piper has to be

paid.  It’s obvious we are now reaping a harvest of longtime

mismanagement…and it’s the public who pays.


      Over the years, the Port Authority has had a history of getting us

 involved in other white elephant projects...like the Wabash Tunnel

 and  the infamous North Shore Connector where hundreds of millions

of dollars have been squandered.


     Belatedly, we again reiterate what we have recommended to the Port

Authority over and over in the past…get your own house in order…clean

up the mess…don’t punish the public for your mistakes.  If you don’t bite

the bullet and get things straightened out, we may end up with no mass

 transit at all!


     On the other hand, maybe we should consider another option –

 privatizing the transit system!


     Just a thought!



Robert W. Dickey


KQV Newsradio
July 24, 25, 26, 27,  2010



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