Few complaints voiced over Port Authority's flat fare proposal
February 24, 2016 11:59 AM
A Port Authority bus makes its way through Downtown.
By Ed Blazina / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A half dozen residents offered individual complaints about Port Authority service this morning, but most had no problem with the agency's proposal to change to a flat fare system.
The first hearing on the fare proposal drew only a few dozen people to the William Penn Ballroom at the Omni William Penn, Downtown.
Starting next January, the authority is proposing a $2.50 fare for all riders who use the prepaid Connectcard instead of the current system that charges $2.50 for shorter trips and $3.75 for longer trips. Cash customers would pay $2.75.
The lower fare would benefit about 26 percent of all riders. The authority expects to make up the loss of about $4.4 million in the first year over a two- or three-year period through increased ridership and lower costs.
The changes also would require all passengers to pay when they enter, eliminate free bus rides Downtown, charge $2 for new or replacement Connectcards in January 2017 and in July 2017 make the T a cashless system that uses only Connectcards.
Audrey Glickman of Greenfield said reducing fares for rider who take longer trips would mean city residents would be subsidizing fares for more affluent communities such as McCandless and Upper St. Clair.
She also asked the authority to eliminate transfer fees for riders going from one city neighborhood because often there is no direct service.
Anyone who wants to register in advance to speak can call 412-566-5187 or 412-231-7007 for TTY. Written comments can be filed through March 31 at www.portauthority.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or via U.S. Mail at Port Authority of Allegheny County, Attn: Fare Policy Proposal, 345 Sixth Ave. Third Floor, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222.
A second public hearing is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. March 8 at the Connolly Ballroom inside Alumni Hall in Oakland.
Ed Blazina: email@example.com or 412-263-1470.
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