Thursday, November 20, 2008

Port Authority Responds to CIII Bus Cuts

The plot thickens. Thanks to Joe Grata, I was able to ask Judi McNeil, the public relations director at the Port Authority, about what happened that led to the cuts at Century III Mall. Here's her response, reprinted with permission:
Mall management has only told us the same thing that they are saying publicly, that they think Port Authority should pay $150,000 to repave the mall's parking lot.

Our position is that Port Authority does not have the funds to get into the business of repaving every surface on which the buses operate. In addition, we bring the mall customers and transport employees, so we are not only transporting folks who spend money at the mall, but providing transportation for folks who need it in order to hold down a job. In other words, the taxpayers subsidize the transportation for the mall's customers and employees and, as such, should not be also expected to fund the mall's state of good repairs. The mall didn't see it that way and ordered a reduction in our bus trips. Of course, we are not happy about it--and neither are our riders--but we must comply as it is private property.

This is an issue that we are dealing with at virtually every Simon mall. The Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) has taken on this issue and plans to make it one of their major campaigns. Wallace Watson at PIIN is heading up the effort and can be reached at (412) 371-8138.
Pittsburgh Interfaith Network also has a website, and they even have a task force for transit. Also included in her email was a forwarded message from a Macy's VP. Macy's is one of the major tenants of Century III Mall.
I'm Neil Penz, the District VP of the Macy's Pittsburgh East stores and Century III Mall is one of my stores.

I recently learned of the cut back in bus service to Century III Mall requested by mall manager, Gina Mercorelli. I'm greatly concerned that this will reduce traffic flow to the mall and effect the sales of all the stores in the mall.

Also, it was unfortunate that we had to learn of this decision through the newspaper and not from the mall management personally.

I would like to partner with you in any way that I can to help resolve this issue to the satisfaction of all parties involved. If I can be of service, please let me know.
Judi also wanted to point out this quote from today's P-G:
Ms. Mercorelli said she expects to see some reduction in shoppers from the reduction in bus routes.

"I certainly think this is going to affect something because those people are not going to be able to get a direct bus route to the mall. Two neighborhoods can't make it here," she said.
Guess you shouldn't have ordered those cuts then.


  1. I've posted about the right to strike and the impending PAT situation, if you don't mind here's the link:

  2. That's ridiculous. The bus is bringing people just like cars bring in people, should all mallgoers who arrive in their own private vehicle be charged a fee to help repair the parking lot?

    That is so audacious. It's a business owner's responsibility to maintain their own facilities. Mall management's plight is seriously going to have to look far and wide for any pity.