Scott, transit officials to discuss buses

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Scott Commissioners Tuesday assured a standing-room-only crowd of residents that they support Port Authority Transit bus service in the township.

"There's been some misconception that we're proposing cutting the service. That's not true," said 7th Ward Commissioner Craig Stephens.

However, in light of recent complaints by Orchard Spring Road residents that their residential street carries 60 PAT buses on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., he and Commissioners Tom Castello and Pat Caruso will meet with Dan DeBone, senior government relations officer with the Port Authority.

Among issues expected to be addressed will be safety, road damage and the number of buses.

A concerned group of Orchard Spring residents complained this summer that the volume of buses traveling on their two-lane street creates noise, parking and livability issues, such as safety for their children.

But bus advocates had their say Tuesday, with many pleading for continuation of bus service to the city.

Heather Pellegrini of Lindsay Road said that on weekdays, more than 1,000 riders of all ages use the 38 route buses that travel Lindsay Road, Orchard Spring Road and Swallow Hill Road onto Greentree Road and then into the city.

Besides being an efficient way to travel, the buses reduce the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, she said, noting that such emissions from one bus is equivalent to that of 35 automobiles. Scott police have reported no bus incidents involving accidents or speeding, she added.

"These [complaining] people are not thinking about other people when they voice their complaints," Ms. Pellegrini said. "It just perplexes me why these people are complaining about these buses from the suburbs. It they don't like it, move to the country."

Still others said it is the residential drivers who are creating traffic problems and others expressed a need for continuation of the bus route.

"Nob Hill [apartments on Swallow Hill Road] absolutely needs more buses," said one resident. Brian McCahill of Swallow Hill Road suggested rerouting some of the buses off of Orchard Spring onto Swallow Hill Road.

Officials indicated that possible option that will be discussed with PAT representatives.

Ms. Pellegrini pointed out that bus riders would have limited public transit opportunities if the 38 route is discontinued.

"By 7:15 a.m. there isn't a single parking space available in Carnegie [at the busway]," she said, noting that the same problem exists at St. Clair Hospital and on Greentree Road.

Commissioner Bill Wells asked Ms. Pellegrini to sit in on the talks with PAT officials.

"I think where we're at now is looking at the number of routes going through Orchard Spring Road," summarized Mr. Stephens. "We don't want this route cut. This route is needed The 38C bus is needed. I myself use it."

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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