Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pittsburgh politicians want expensive toys for PAT

Pittsburgh PA - On the heels of a 15% route cut with promises of many more cuts to follow, and associated fare hikes, Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh officials are now pushing to add more rail to the cash strapped Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT).

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh is now pushing for a rail link between Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland. City Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl (D) and County Executive Dan Onorato (D) are fully in favor of this of. State Senator Jim Ferlo (D) who is on the URA board is spearheading the effort.

Let's stop for a minute. These Dummyrats know full well the system can't afford what it has already and most likely won't be able to afford the scaled back system. What's their response? They are all in favor of further stressing the finances by adding expensive toys to the mix at a time PAT just can't afford it and neither can the City or County.

Now, let's rewind the clock a bit. Pittsburgh had it's chance to have a rail link to Oakland in the early 90's. Political fighting by the Democrats in charge at the time prevented the "Spine Line" from happening. Now that PAT is in a major fiscal crisis and is cutting service, these political clowns are proposing this again but are leaning towards streetcars.

While Pittsburgh needs a Downtown to Oakland transit link which could easily support a rail link as these two destinations are the 2nd and 3rd biggest transit generators in Pennsylvania, the bottom line is that PAT can't afford it. Period.

Those readers unfamiliar with Pittsburgh need to know this. The Pittsburgh region is rapidly losing population. The city is in dire financial straits as is Allegheny County. The city has been controlled by Democrats for over a century as the brain dead population here just can't bring themselves to vote for anything else but an incumbent Democrat (regardless of how poor a job they're doing). The transit system has been mis-managed for years and it's caught up to them.

With all of the above, the politicians here just have to find a new way to spend taxpayer money. So now, the push is on to build more rail so they can further destroy the transit system which can't afford what it has now and have an excuse to stick their hands in the taxpayer's wallet again.

These stupid Democrats just can't understand the concept that while you may get grants to build the rail line, it takes money to operate it and rail is inherently expensive to operate. Where are they going to get the money to run this when the system can't afford to run with what they get already? Where are they going to get the money to match grants for this new toy when they can't afford to run the City and County and vital services (police, fire) are being trimmed back.

This is just another example of stupid politicians that can't think past a legacy for themselves. They refuse to even consider the long term implications of their actions as they're too busy looking through rose colored glasses so they can ignore the problems.

State Senator Jim Ferlo, you earned a Lance. City of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, you earned a Lance. Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, you get 2 Lances as you of all people know the financial situation of PAT yet support this ill-conceived and poorly timed plan.

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