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  • September 2010
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Going Places?

You’ve probably already heard or maybe even experienced the backlash, but the bus system here in Pittsburgh is undergoing a lot of, erm…streamlining. As of September 5 there have been numerous schedule and route changes, which can be viewed here here. From what I understand a minority of public transport users have been burned, but overall the changes are making the bus system more efficient.

I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t this just happen? Twice? Yes, this is the third round of changes to take place since April 2010. It’s a lot to keep track of. AND a fourth round of changes will take place in November, so keep that in mind too. As if you don’t have enough to think about already.

In a few short weeks the Port Authority Board will vote on a proposed fare increase and service reduction plan that could hit the city very hard. The plan is to reduce service by a whopping 35% and increase fares in Zones 1 and 2 by a quarter in order to close a $47 million budget gap. If this proposal goes through, the changes would take place January 1, 2011. It’s not the zombie apocalypse, but it will require a lot of adjustments on the part of public transport riders!

Read more about the transportation funding crisis here:

Why is this happening? The Port Authority says it’s because the federal government decided not to approve tolls on Highway 80. PittGirl Virginia Montanez thinks it’s the inflated salaries of Port Authority employees. What do you think?

But it’s not all gloom and doom. The Port Authority is also working to give Pittsburgh a Maglev train route between the airport and Greensburg. Maglev trains are pretty sweet—I’ve always wanted to ride in one, mostly because they can go OVER 300 MILES PER HOUR! They also pollute less. Would finally clear the eternal traffic jam that is the parkway East. Would create jobs. Cost only 5 dollars. AND DID I MENTION THAT THEY GO REALLY REALLY FAST! I think every city should have one. Heck, I think the whole country should be connected by Maglev trains. Read all about the project here.

Urban mass transit : the life story of a technology / Robert C. Post.

Are we there yet? : building America’s transportation infrastructure network / written by John Yow.

Breaking gridlock : moving toward transportation that works / Jim Motavalli.

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