Sunday, March 22, 2009

Public Transit = Public Safety

It's worth repeating:

Drinking and driving is not acceptable. There should be harsh penalties in place for those who do and plenty of alternatives for those who choose not to. I'll re-iterate my plea from Saturday - cut back on a few billy-club-shaking overtime cops in riot gear and instead, let's have some real leadership in Pittsburgh broker a deal with Port Authority that all buses after 10pm are free. And make sure there are actually buses running until after the bars close on Friday and Saturday nights.
(Pgh Is A City)

I hope the riot gear has been simply a St. Patrick's Day / Superbowl / stadium Implosion show of force. Aside from that, Pittsburghers do enjoy a party, and we need to make sure people get to where they're going safe -- including all the innocent bystanders.


  1. "And make sure there are actually buses running until after the bars close on Friday and Saturday nights."

    Not that the idea is bad, but, were I a PA driver, I would want double-time before I drove that bus.

  2. "Pgh is a City" has some great ideas. If the bus fare was cheap, you would convince more to not attempt to drive.

    One Problem I foresee is that the poor bus driver is left with a bus load of drunks. That might not be pleasant. The drink tax idea in paying for the bus fare and maybe for the voluntary bus driver on overtime seems to be a carrot that may be sought by drivers. I don't know which one is cheaper, cops on overtime? or Bus drivers on Overtime, but at least the drink tax could cover the bus driver. The city is footing the bill for the police officer.

    South Side has alot to offer, and the bars are only one part of the make up of South Side, that is and has been forever South Side, back to the mill days. The difference in the mill days, is that many who worked the mill, walked home from the bars.

    If you visit the South Side on a weekday evening, or Saturday in the daylight, summer night, down by the River, the South Side is a pretty unique and diverse neighborhood and truly has alot to offer all day, unlike Downtown.

  3. Ironically Null Space included a note this weekend that the Port Authority is looking for comments on their reorganizing of their routes. I have not taken a look at the proposed new routes and schedules, but it seems like a safe bet that the word "reduction" will apply. Now we want the County to toss aside PAT’s careful reorganizing to provide free service for drunks, shuttling them through downtown on their way South, West, North and East. Unless y’all want PAT to shift their hub and spoke system to the South Side on Weekend evenings for your increased comfort. And there is no guarantee drunken riders still won’t park somewhere and simply ride the bus to the convenient point.

    Who will pay for this new service? Certainly not the bar owners; if they had their way, PAT would be out of business (and the bar owners could keep their prices ten percent higher, since everyone is used to it by now, after all, that’s what the parking garages were able to do, and fair’s fair). Meanwhile, perhaps Pittsburgh Conservative or more likely the Allegheny Institute will howl at this government encouragement of irresponsibility and busting of the Authority’s budget, because a bunch of drunks can’t control themselves. Believe them, the cops are doing the drunks a favor by swinging the billy club and reminding the drunks who’s in charge. This is Pittsburgh politics, where the old ways are the best ways.

  4. So the Port Authority is hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole and digging deepers, and you want them to increase service while lowering revenues? Brilliant idea. I'm sure that will work splendidly.

  5. The money would have to come from somewhere, to be sure.