Hearing explores public transit, promise and opportunity

Policy Committee shows lawmakers the potential for mass transit in the Pittsburgh region

PITTSBURGH, March 7 – The House Democratic Policy Committee alongside Representatives Austin Davis and Sara Innamorato held a tour and roundtable discussion about the state of mass transit in the Pittsburgh region.

The tour and roundtable focused on the Allegheny County Port Authority, the region’s mass transit authority, and showcased the state of public transit in the region and what lawmakers can do to strengthen it.

"Public transit is a lifeline for many residents throughout our region,” said Rep. Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny. “I’m grateful we had the opportunity to get a first-hand perspective on how we work together to fill in the gaps and create opportunities for equitable development and transit access.”

Members of the state House gathered in downtown Pittsburgh before boarding a Port Authority light rail vehicle to begin a tour around the region. Lawmakers joined Katherine Kellerman, CEO of the Port Authority, capital investors, and members of the Federal Transit Administration.

Members saw an opportunity to invest in new routes needed for the bus lines bringing people from Pittsburgh’s eastern communities to downtown and other technology and innovation hubs driving the region’s economy.

“My father is a Port Authority bus driver and I know so many people who live in the Mon Valley use our mass transit to commute,” said Davis a Vice Chair of the House Policy Committee. “Our mass transit system creates jobs for people here, gets our people to work, and we need to make decisions in the legislature that support transit in Pittsburgh.”

Federal and State dollars coming to the region will support projects to update the Mon Incline and to ensure pedestrian friendly modernizations are prioritized.

“Today, we traveled from one side of Pittsburgh to the other, all on mass transit,” said Bizzarro. “I think the mass transit model here is something that can be replicated in other parts of Pennsylvania and the country. The mix of bus and rail transit is a tremendous resource here in Pittsburgh and it deserves our support in Harrisburg. We are committed to doing that.” 

Information about this hearing and other House Democratic Policy Committee hearings can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.