Statement before the        Glenn A. Walsh

      Council of                  P.O. Box 1041

     The City of                  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

     Pittsburgh:                   Telephone: 412-561-7876

   Commuter Rail              Electronic Mail: < >

  Service Through            Internet Site: < >

Oakland to Downtown       2009 January 7


Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon. Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.


Regarding Bills 1015 & 1016: “Traffic Study—Inner City Transit Options,” which you will discuss today. I strongly support Bill Peduto’s proposal to initiate commuter rail service serving Oakland and other city neighborhoods. Actually, I first proposed commuter rail service in this corridor back in 1979, at a public hearing in McKeesport regarding the Port Authority’s Monongahela Valley Commuter Rail Service—the PATrain.


At that time, the PATrain ran from Versailles and McKeesport, with stops in Braddock and Hazelwood, to a terminus at the old B&O Commuter Station at Grant Street and First Avenue. PAT was always bemoaning the lack of sufficient ridership on the PATrain, so at the public hearing I suggested that the train be rerouted through Oakland to a new terminus at Penn Station, Downtown. This would provide commuters with better access to the Downtown office district and would allow a new commuter station in Oakland—both should increase ridership.


In the mid-1980s, with CSX planning to sell their Grant Street rail station, my proposal was seriously considered, with operation of the PATrain possibly given to Amtrak. However, in 1989, Port Authority decided to abandon the PATrain to save money.


I would suggest that, in addition to a Lawrenceville rail station, that this new rail service be extended to a terminus at Penn Station, Downtown. The additional distance would not take much time, but it could significantly increase ridership which would make this rail service much more financially viable. A rapid commuter rail service, between Downtown and Lawrenceville, Oakland, and Hazelwood, would provide even greater transportation flexibility in the city.


Thank you.