Bus riders present petition, demand Pittsburgh Regional Transit reverses route cuts

PITTSBURGH — Bus riders signed a petition with over 500 signatures calling for Pittsburgh Regional Transit to reverse a decision that cut service from downtown to Oakland.

For three weeks now, bus riders have dealt with transfers and longer commutes when traveling from downtown to Oakland.

It’s all since PRT reduced half of the transit routes for the 61D, 71A, 71C and 71D buses.

“Right now, we are seeing an impact at 6:30 in the morning. People who live in the city that can’t get up to Oakland based on their cuts from last month in October,” said Ross Nicotero, ATU Local 85 president for bus workers.

Members of Pittsburgh for Public Transit delivered the petition, demanding PRT reverse their decision at Friday’s board meeting.

Eight buses used to go between the outer communities, Oakland, Uptown and Downtown. Half are now labeled “short” and turn around at Robinson Street and Fifth.

“When you have a challenge and you’re trying to get somewhere and you’re only source of transit is PRT and you can’t get on it because it’s not reliable enough, it’s not fair to us,” said bus rider Teaira Collins.

In the past, PRT said the changes would help with congestion and delays. They would also help prepare for the construction of the Univesity Line to Downtown.

These bus riders aren’t buying that.

“The transit users that count on that as their essential transportation deserve better. That is the role that PRT is supposed to fill, is to serve the public,” said bus rider Regina Anderson.

“We’re encouraged to hear from our riders and public transit supporters,” Adam Brandolph, PRT spokesman, said. “We know change can be difficult and, as always, we are listening.”

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