Pitt Plans for Possible Port Authority Bus Strike

Issue Date: 
September 15, 2008

The Port Authority of Allegheny County and its unions are trying to reach agreement on a new labor contract to replace the one that expired on July 1, 2008. The two sides have been in a state-required fact-finding process that concluded on Aug. 29. Both sides had 15 days to accept or reject in whole the fact finder’s recommended settlement. If that process ends without a new contract, state and federal mediators will be called in to resolve the dispute, but the union can call for a strike vote at any time. Both the Port Authority Board and the union scheduled meetings for Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, to accept or reject the fact finder’s recommendations.

The Port Authority Board, in its Sept. 12 meeting, accepted the fact finder’s recommendations. If the union rejects the recommendations, it may call for a strike vote. However, according to union president Patrick McMahon, it will take two to three weeks for a vote to be taken. On the other hand, should the union accept the recommendations, it will take the same amount of time for union members to ratify the agreement.

For additional information, visit http://www.portauthority.org/paac/default.aspx
You can also visit www.PghTransitInfo.com, which has the latest information on the status of the negotiations. The site is operated by the Port Authority.

If the potential of a Port Authority strike has a direct impact on your commute to Pitt, we encourage you to visit three other Web sites: www.commuteinfo.org; Bike Pittsburgh at www.bike-pgh.org; and www.KeepPittsburghMoving.com.

The University of Pittsburgh is developing commuter plans and recommendations to assist our students, faculty, and staff should a work stoppage occur that disrupts PAT bus service.

Campus Buses: Campus bus service may be expanded for students, faculty, and staff who rely on public transportation. The expanded campus system may extend two to three miles in radius and include areas such as Shadyside and Squirrel Hill during the work stoppage.

The University is working to provide service to neighborhoods outside of the city with a possibility of creating a series of neighborhood gathering points where University passengers can board a Pitt bus to campus. The scope of this service is dependent on a number of factors, including access to PUC-approved buses and access to the gathering points.

Parking: The lack of bus service may result in more individuals driving onto campus. In an effort to accommodate the increased demand for parking spaces, remote parking locations are being identified from which shuttle service to campus may operate.

In addition, every on-campus transient parking space may be restricted for University employees with the emphasis being on those who choose to carpool.

Car Pool/Van Pool: The work stoppage will be a great time to identify a neighbor with whom you can carpool and continue to carpool when bus service resumes.

To take advantage of carpooling, contact the University’s regional ride-sharing partner, CommuteInfo.

Bicycle: Weather permitting, individuals may consider bicycling to campus, and there are bike racks on campus that can accommodate more than 500 bicycles.

More work stoppage information will be provided when available and necessary. Visit the following Web sites for updates: http://www.pitt.edu, http://www.pts.pitt.edu/parking/,
http://www.pc.pitt.edu/transportation/, and