Statement before                   Glenn A. Walsh

Southwestern Pennsylvania      P.O. Box 1041

        Commission:                                                Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.

    Governor Rendell’s                   Telephone: 412-561-7876

      Transit Funding                Electronic Mail: < publictransit@planetarium.cc >

          Proposal                                 Internet Web Site: < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

                                                                                2005 July 20

 

Good afternoon. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. I have been a user and advocate of public transportation for more than 25 years. I was a charter member of the Allegheny County Transit Council, serving from 1984-1989. Today, I am representing no formal organization.

 

Today, again, you will consider a short-term solution to the financial problems of the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT). Governor Ed Rendell has proposed to “flex” $113.5 million in funds, originally proposed for highway spending, for Port Authority operating needs. This time, instead of a three-month “fix,” this will resolve PAT’s operating problems for a year-and-a-half.

 

As I mentioned to you last month, this flexing of Federal highway funds is necessary to give the Governor’s blue-ribbon panel, on long-term transit funding, the ample time and opportunity it needs to conduct fact-finding and make recommendations to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. This should also give the General Assembly time to act on those recommendations.

 

Only the General Assembly can effect long-term change, to assist PAT and other Pennsylvania public transit agencies.  So, this change will take time.

 

This is why the proposed funding flex is needed. Without this flex of funds, there will be a great deal of pain and inconvenience suffered by PAT users, while legislative politics slowly grinds to a long-term transit funding solution.

 

I urge you to give the time needed for the blue-ribbon panel to complete its assigned task and the time needed for the General Assembly to implement their recommendations. Vote yes, on the $113.5 million “flex” funds, as requested by State Transportation Secretary Allen Biehler, on behalf of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

 

gaw