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Proposed Service Cuts Would Eliminate Sewickley-Area Bus Routes

The move would end the Ohio Valley's Zone 2 bus line, which runs from the Port Authority's park-and-ride lot in Ambridge through the Sewickley Valley.

Bus routes serving Sewickley and other areas would be eliminated in September if the Allegheny County Port Authority doesn’t receive funding to cover a projected $64 million deficit in next year's budget.

Each of the Port Authority's 102 bus routes will be scaled back, and more than half the county's current routes, including , , , , Ambridge, Ben Avon, Moon and North Fayette, would be eliminated as part of the Port Authority's proposed 35 percent reduction in service.

Specifically, the move would end the Ohio Valley's Zone 2 bus line, which runs from the Port Authority's park-and-ride lot in Ambridge through the Sewickley Valley to Pittsburgh.

Sewickley-area commuters looking to use outbound service between their homes and jobs or classes would be among the estimated 45,000 who would be left stranded without public transportation services.

Service changes are expected to take effect Sept. 2, with fare increases of 50 cents for Zone 2 riders and 25 cents for Zone 1 riders, effective July 1.

Bus fare on multiple routes, including the cost of purchasing a weekly, monthly or annual transit pass, would increase under the proposed plan. Riders faced increased fare costs earlier this year.

The Port Authority said that state aid, which accounts for more than half of the authority's revenue, has , while fuel and retirement costs for the agency have risen.

The authority's board is scheduled to meet April 27 to  the service cuts and fare increases.

In November 2010, the board authorized a similar 35-percent reduction cut, but then-Gov. Ed Rendell authorized $45 million in emergency aid, reducing the cuts to 15 percent.

Check back with Patch for updates.

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