†††† Statement before†††††††††††††††††† Glenn A. Walsh

Southwestern Pennsylvania††††† P.O. Box 1041

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

††† Governor Rendellís ††††††††††††††††† Telephone: 412-561-7876

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

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

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2005 March 10

 

Good afternoon. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon. I have been an 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.

 

I am here today to urge this Commission to approve the transit funding proposal put forward by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell for three primary reasons:

 

1) There are several suburban and rural public transportation systems, in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region outside of Allegheny County, which will also benefit from the approval of the Governorís funding plan. Quite a few people who reside outside of Allegheny County depend on these public transit systems.

 

2) Quite a few people who reside outside of Allegheny County also use the Port Authority Transit (PAT) system, as PAT bus routes do extend into Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Next month, when the new parking garage opens at the South Hills Village Rail Station, it is likely that even more people from Washington County will be utilizing the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

 

3) Finally, it must be remembered that the City of Pittsburgh is the hub of the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. Public transportation is absolutely vital for the efficient and effective operation of a major city in the twenty-first century. The collapse of public transportation in Pittsburgh would result in a drastic decline in economic activity in Pittsburgh, which would inevitably extend into the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

 

Without the implementation of a public transit funding plan, similar to the one proposed by Governor Rendell, public transit in Pittsburgh will continue a downward spiral of fare increases and service cuts leading to reduced ridership and declining earned revenue by the transit system. This will lead to a collapse of the public transit system in Pittsburgh, which will have major adverse economic impacts throughout the Southwestern Pennsylvania region.

 

I urge the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission to vote to approve the transit funding plan proposed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

 

gaw