Kudos to Mel Packer of Pittsburghers for Public Transit for standing up to the rubber stamp Port Authority board (“Port Authority Standing Pat on Routes,” July 26). Mr. Packer challenged a gang of misleaders who consistently place boondoggle projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars ahead of restoring and expanding services for the vast majority of county residents.
It’s bad enough that they forced on us a half-billion-dollar under-river tunnel that no one needs and no one wants unless they can be enticed with a free ride. Now they want to construct (after a multi-million-dollar feasibility study) a $200 million toy that will reduce the travel time from Oakland to Downtown, a trip that currently takes 11 minutes at rush hour by conventional bus. Is there a compelling reason to pour resources into shaving a few minutes off this time while senior citizens are required to ambulate 45 minutes to locate a convenient bus stop because of Port Authority cuts to service?
To board member D. Raja’s credit, he avoided embarrassment by disassociate himself from this bobble-head behavior.
Political and Port Authority leadership should come clean and explain why they favor a costly solution where there is no problem before meeting the basic needs of the citizens of Western Pennsylvania.