• Riders upset with Port Authority plan for armed officers

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - The Port Authority of Allegheny County is considering putting armed officers on public transit.

    Under the plan, the officers would make sure riders pay their fare.

    At least 10 people went up to the microphone at Friday's board meeting to speak to the PAT board about the issue.  Some riders were very passionate about not wanting armed officers checking for proof of payment.   

    The plan was supposed to go into effect this summer, but it is on hold, partly because of community pushback. The community wants a civilian for the job.


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    The plan is also delayed because the PAT is waiting on electronic equipment.

    Channel 11 talked to one rider, who said she thinks the community should have the final say.

    “We aren't asking that people go on the bus and do what they want.  There should be a process, but it should be approved by the community so the community feels safe,” rider Jordan Malloy said.  

    "It's the only option right now, because the issue on citations in Pennsylvania has to be done by a police officer," David Donahue, interim CEO of the Port Authority, said.

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    Another concern is whether riders would be deported if they are undocumented immigrants.

    "The Port Authority has no connection to immigration," Donahue said. 

    The plan will eventually have to be approved by the board.  There will be a 60-day educational period for riders.

    Donahue doesn't foresee the plan going into effect in 2017.


     

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