Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rapid Transit to Oakland: No Foolin'?

Hello again. Well, I have to report on the recent stories in the press reviving a Oakland-Downtown public transit link. The Tribune-Review has reported that the county has approved a contract with Lea+Elliott, a consulting firm that specializes in transit. Its projects have included the Las Vegas Monorail, Amtrak's Acela express trains, and Pittsburgh's own existing light rail system. They mention a specialization in automated transit systems. Which, as has been mentioned before in a Peak Direction review of Oakland rapid transit, seems to be the direction Dan Onorato wants to head in.

This seems to be driven by a recent report by the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, which recently published a report on improving public transit. Sadly, it's a report that has been issued by other state PIRGs and has no specific solutions for Pittsburgh, though the PIRG has advocated light rail in Oakland. Joe Grata in the Post-Gazette covered the release of the report.

The real question is why does Onorato want a futuristic automated system? What's wrong with having people operate it? Oh, right:
The transit contingency planning session will brief attendees on the Port Authority of Allegheny County's labor negotiation process and route restructuring plans to help companies prepare for service disruptions that could create problems for commuting employees.

That's right, more planning for a transit strike from the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. No foolin'.


  1. Just reading through Joe's PG article when I saw Beaver's Transit Authority mentioned.

    I saw in a magazine the other day that Beaver County has the Top Small Transit System in the US.

    Might do PGH/Allegheny County good to keep an eye on our neighbors.

    But all in all, it's cool to see this at the forefront of discussion; anything that indicates progress where typically there is just talk of loss and cuts and strikes, etc.

  2. FYI: I understand the Lea+Elliott contract is to study building a WVU-like people mover IN Oakland and Shadyside BETWEEN Hospitals and possibly TO Hazelwood Tech Center, to serve a couple hundred doctors in style, doctors who would never in a billion years step foot in a horrible ugly probably-infected with cooties Port Authority bus -- so for the cost of rail between Downtown and Oakland for 50,000, we get an in-Oakland rich-people-mover. Oh, and I can just picture the giant concrete overhead rails all thru Oakland and Shadyside -- lovely! (So why couldn't we just give each and every doctor his or her own rolls royce with chauffeur? Be a lot cheaper.)

  3. The Port Authority should have built light rail to Oakland years ago. I don't buy and will never buy that whole load of garbage about the north shore tunnel. They keep saying that it is cheaper than going to Oakland, but once it goes over budget, will it still be?

  4. This has got to be the worst blog in the Burgh. No content for a month. Awesome. It reminds me of public transportation, government, everything in this town. It looks like something is going on, nothing happens . . . and nobody notices. Good for you, R.I.P. You suck.

  5. Glad you had the guts to leave your name Anonymous. For the record, I will be posting again soon... but I have sadly left the Burgh. Very sorry for the absence.