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"Glenn A. Walsh" <>  View Contact Details  View Contact Details
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Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:11:27 -0700 (PDT)


[PAPublicTransit] KQV Editorial Reply

I wish to reply to Bob Dickey's editorials regarding
the "North Shore Connector" rapid transit project.
First, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate
KQV on 30 years of all-news radio. I have been
listening for the entire 30 years, and I hope to be
listening for, at least, another 30 years.
Yes, the construction cost of the North Shore
Connector rapid transit project is high. But it must
be remembered that such capital projects are built,
not just for the people iiving today, but for people
of the future.
So long as these tunnels are built well, and
maintained properly through the years, there is no
reason these tunnels should not last, at least, 50 to
75 years without a major overhaul. When you divide the
project cost by the number of people who will use this
transit extension within the next 50-75 years, this
enhanced public transit system is certainly a wise
investment of public funds for today--and for the
Now, I certainly agree that this transit extension
would not be as valuable to the public, if it only
stops at the North Shore. Regrettably, the high cost
of these public improvement projects necessitates them
being built in stages.
However, once the North Shore Connector rapid transit
project is completed, plans should be made and funding
sought for extensions of this rapid transit system
into the neighborhoods of the North Side and Ohio
Valley. Without eventual extensions to serve the
people in the neighborhoods, then I would agree that
the value of the current project is tremendously
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
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:
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:
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.
Glenn A. Walsh
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Public Transit Web Site:
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Glenn A. Walsh
Electronic Mail - < > 
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