Lawmaker Wants to Stop Major Port Authority Cuts

State Rep. Martin Michael Schmotzer from Whitehall wants a summer legislative session on transportation.

State Rep. Martin Michael Schmotzer will only be in office for the rest of this year, but the Democrat from  is hoping to make the best use of his time.

Schmotzer is calling for a moratorium on further and a special summer session of the Pennsylvania Legislature to deal with transportation funding.

If the proposed cuts become effective Sept. 2, the Route 14 Ohio Valley line would be , .

"The Port Authority of Allegheny County is dying a death by a thousand cuts," Schmotzer said in a news release. "We're at the point where, if the next round of cuts goes through—cutting 46 of the remaining 102 bus routes—we will not have a viable and legitimate mass transit system in Allegheny County.

"I am also concerned about the elimination of several Light Rail Transit (commonly known as The T) stops, which could impose hardships on seniors and people with disabilities and put riders at risk by forcing them to walk along busier roadways." 

In addition to a moratorium on further mass transit cuts in Allegheny County, Schmotzer is calling for: 

  • Gov. Tom Corbett to call a special session of the state Legislature this summer to deal with transportation funding, particularly for mass transit, which is facing massive cuts in Allegheny County.
  • Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to turn over all proceeds from the county's drink tax and vehicle rental tax to Port Authority. Schmotzer said that the public expects that money to go for transit. Yet, he said, the county is keeping more than $9 million of that $36.684 million per year for its general budget.
  • All dedicated and interested parties to be at the proposed summer session to solve the transit problem, including state government officials, county government officials and Port Authority officials.

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