Essential transit

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Natalia Rudiak nailed it with her op-ed ("A Sorry Story of Transit and Taxes," April 18). It's a shame more elected officials don't recognize the value in providing a steady source of funding for transit.

Our buses and trolleys do more than shuttle people to work. They keep tens of thousands of cars off our roads and bridges. (You think traffic, potholes and construction are bad now? Just wait.) They bring people to schools, shopping, hospitals, bars and restaurants. Quite often, they keep drunken drivers off the road.

Moreover, transit helps keep our communities and businesses humming. It is the only source of transportation for many students, senior citizens and working poor. Without it, businesses, and jobs, would suffer.

The Steelers, Rivers Casino, the Stadium Authority and Alco Parking clearly see the value in helping customers get to their facilities. They are paying for their T trips for the next three years. (Surely this is more than just a massive justification for the $523 million North Shore Connector, right?)

Doesn't this same logic extend to the businesses Downtown and in other neighborhoods? Isn't it just as important for 65,000 people to get to work as it is for 65,000 fans to get to Heinz Field?

Pittsburgh has repeatedly been named America's "Most Livable City." If we allow our transit system and other public services to slowly disappear, our No. 1 rankings will be added to Rick Sebak's list of "Things That Aren't There Anymore."



First Published April 24, 2012 12:00 AM


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