Letter-to-the-Editor of the Pittsburgh CityPaper

RE: “Don’t rail against the T” Letter in 2005 July 27 issue

of the Pittsburgh City Paper.

 

Like Ms. McNeil of the Port Authority of Allegheny County [in her letter of July 27], I was also dismayed
by the several inaccuracies in the “Rant” of June 29. However, I would caution PAT in their response to

such messages. It may be that PAT bears some responsibility in the lack of knowledge, of the public, in a

fairly complex project.

 

Since the inception of this rapid transit proposal, in general I have supported the “North Shore Connector”

project, provided that upon the project’s completion plans are made, and funding sought, for extensions of

the “Connector” into the neighborhoods of the North Side and Ohio Valley. Without extensions that serve

people in the neighborhoods, the “Connector” would not connect to much!

 

However, there is one portion of this project which I do, vehemently, oppose. During construction of the
Convention Center extension, the Port Authority plans to remove rail access to the light rail station at
Penn Station and rail car storage yard just beyond Penn Station. Although the light rail station at Penn
Station has been used, sporadically, over the years, the seven-track [five tracks and loop] rail car
storage yard has never been used—not even once !!!
 
From a Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law request I submitted to PAT last year, I have determined that
this rail car storage yard cost the taxpayers about $2 million. Up until now, this $2 million investment of
the taxpayers has never benefited the residents of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County!
 
In April of last year, I addressed the PAT Board on this issue:
 
< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/ST-PATRailYard.htm >
 
Following that statement, PAT Board Chairman John A. Brooks promised that the Board would discuss my
complaint at the May Board meeting. Not only did this not happen, but, due to a loophole in the Pennsylvania
Sunshine Act, I was forbidden from addressing any more
PAT Board meetings regarding this issue:
 
< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/veraldi1.htm >!
 
The Convention Center rapid transit line should be completed, including a continual rail link to Penn
Station and the rail yard. Once construction of the Convention Center line is finished, PAT should begin
utilizing the rail car storage yard for the mid-day storage of light rail vehicles only needed for the
rush hours, as the original designers of the light rail system intended--so, this $2 million of taxpayer
investment can finally benefit the residents of Allegheny County by lower electricity usage and less
wear-and-tear on the vehicles.
 
gaw
 
Glenn A. Walsh
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Public Transit Web Site: < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >
 
2005 August 3