Support #FairFares Policy Platform to Address Inequities in Access

On February 4th, a coalition of advocacy organizations, transit riders, and elected officials launched a new policy platform aimed at making Port Authority of Allegheny County’s fare system affordable, accessible, and equitable for all riders in Allegheny County.

This policy platform seeks to address existing disparities in Port Authority’s fare system, including the penalties that low-income riders without access to CONNECT Cards or direct bus lines have to pay.

Moreover, this Fair Fares policy platform calls for Port Authority to adopt best practices on fare enforcement, as it has been demonstrated that police-enforced and criminal penalties for fare enforcement have caused disproportionate harm on black and brown communities across the country, and have resulted in excessive resources invested in penalizing riders rather than improving service.

“We need the Port Authority to evaluate the broader economic, environmental and public health benefits from a more accessible and affordable public transit system. Our fare policies should shift the cost burden off of riders – who are acting in the best interest of our region by taking public transit – and onto businesses and developers who disproportionately benefit from greater transit usage. As a start, Port Authority could do that by enabling bulk transit passes and through using Clean Air Funds to fund free fare days.” said Laura Wiens, Executive Director of Pittsburghers for Public Transit.

This platform is the culmination of years of advocacy from thousands of Pittsburgh transit riders. There were prior community actions around decriminalizing fare enforcement, rallies supporting free transfers, and petitions for Fare Capping and lower cash fares. This is a vital time to put forward this advocacy platform as the Port Authority begins a series of community meetings to seek input on their fare structure.

What You Can Do

For the first time in recent history, Port Authority is planning to hold a series of community engagement sessions to hear directly from riders about some of the projects that they have planned. These meetings are a critical – and perhaps the only – opportunity for riders to influence Port Authority’s current plans to redesign fare policy. The consultant that the agency hired last year to assess how they could possibly change their fare structure is expected to makes his formal recommendations soon.

During each session, PAAC staff will spend approximately 60 minutes presenting on current projects like:

  • The Port Authority’s Long-Range Plan
  • Fare Policy
  • Bus stop consolidation program
  • Mobile Fare Payment App

Afterward, there will be an hour for Q&A and riders will have a chance to go around the room Science-fair-style, learn more on each separate project and give feedback.

Review the #FairFares Coalition’s entire platform, and use these meetings to share your story about how a truly affordable, accessible fare policy would affect your life.

PAAC’s community engagement schedule for “Public Transit: A Community Discussion”

(see the full list on Facebook here)
(or on the Port Authority’s website here)

January 29, 2020

David L. Lawrence Convention Center 
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
*East Lobby Entrance or Garage parking to 3rd Floor
Session 1 9:00am-12:00pm
Session 2 1:00pm-4:00pm
Session 3 5:00pm-8:00pm

February 5, 2020

Kingsley Association
6435 Frankstown Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

February 12, 2020

Millvale Community Center 
416 Lincoln Ave
Millvale, PA 15209

February 19, 2020

The Monroeville Convention Center 
209 Mall Plaza Blvd
Monroeville, PA 15146
*Use South Hall Entrance

March 4, 2020

The McKeesport Palisades 
100 5th Avenue
McKeesport, PA 15132

March 11, 2020

Pittsburgh Technical College
1111 McKee Road
Oakdale, PA 15071
*Entrance 4

March 18, 2020

Bethel Park Municipal Building 
5100 W Library Ave
Bethel Park, PA 15102

April 1, 2020

Springdale Veterans Association 
1151 Pittsburgh Street
Springdale, PA 15144

April 23, 2020

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall
Connolly Ballroom
4227 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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