Occupy Pittsburgh: Transit Demonstration on February 29 Port Authority Hearing

Pittsburgh, PA—(ENEWSPF)—February 24, 2012.  Occupy Pittsburgh will join with Pittsburghers for Public Transit and other public transit supporters to demonstrate for affordable, accessible transportation on February 29th during the public hearing to be held all day inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  The outdoor noontime rally is intended as a call on Governor Tom Corbett and other state and local representatives to allocate funding to improve service on the buses and trains of Pennsylvania.

Last month, the Port Authority of Allegheny County announced a new set of service changes that if implemented would result in a 35 percent service reduction. Nearly half of the county’s current routes could be eliminated, stranding 45,000 riders and eliminating 600 transit jobs.

Transportation across Pennsylvania is underfunded.  Governor Corbett’s own Transportation Funding Advisory Commission acknowledged this and recommended that transit spending be increased.  Corbett can do this by lifting the cap on the franchise tax for wholesale gasoline (as recommended by his panel), by demanding that corporations engaged in commerce in Pennsylvania and pay their fair share and stop using tax loopholes, or by demanding that corporations pay for the resources they extract through mining. 

Each year Pennsylvania loses $500 million to corporations like Exxon-Mobil that utilize tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share while their trucks use our roads and people commute to their offices via public transit.  Corporate lobbyists wrote the law that allowed our region’s largest employer, UPMC, to avoid paying taxes on its $406 million in profits. Pennsylvania’s problems funding all forms of transit can’t be solved in a system that favors the interest of corporations and the 1% over the remaining 99%.

The elimination of routes currently served by Port Authority buses and trains will have a negative impact on our region affecting people from all walks of life and every corner of our county.  Occupy Pittsburgh is working to promote public education and awareness on this issue.  We believe that public transit is a human right! Pittsburghers for Public Transit activists are organizing in communities, at bus stops, and on threatened bus routes to demand solutions that are responsible towards riders and workers.

What:  A Demonstration for Accessible, Affordable Public Transportation 

Where: The David L. Lawrence Convention Center 

When: 12:00 pm (noon) on February 29th, 2012