Friday, May 11, 2012

Does cutting public transit limit access to church?

So, here is yet another angle on all the transit cuts inbound here: From Does cutting public transit limit access to church?

With a focus on Allegheny County of course.

If you missed it.. some colleagues of mine did a bit more formal calculation of the numbers that will be impacted by the transit cuts.  See: Impact of Port Authority Route Eliminations.

But if you really want to start adding up the costs of all this, I still say start with this unfortunate natural experiment and read this journal article and extrapolate: The Benefits of Prenatal Care: Evidence from the PAT Bus Strike.  by William N. Evans Diana S. Lien. Department of Economics University of Maryland and CNA Corporation. March 2002. 

Such a long way in such a short time from when Allegheny County and the Port Authority were on the cutting edge of public transit in the nation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a long way, indeed!

From A. Morris Buck's standard text of 1915: 'The Electric Railway,' Pittsburgh provided 550 annual transit rides per inhabitant, far more than the 450 rides per inhabitant of second ranked Boston or the 400 rides of third ranked Jersey City/Newark.

'Street Car Central' and 'Workshop of the World' - I wonder if there might have been a connection?

And the one third reduction in service is just a beginning: since the 'legacy' pension costs come 'off the top' of the operating expenses, as more employees retire and farebox revenue continues to fall the shortfall is worse and requires yet another reduction to keep within budget.

Such a long, long way!


Saturday, May 12, 2012 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger joe said...

How many of the estimated 88,825 jobs that will "no longer be reasonably accessible from a transit line" would one estimate to currently use transit?How does one model the effect of mobile jobs like home care aides, many of which are currently filled by individuals relying on public transportation to visit and support elders and persons living with disabilities in the community?

Where are the NORCs on the transit lines to be cut, and how many elders will suffer out of sight, out of mind as this debacle unfolds?

I would be remiss if I failed to use this opportunity to point out to all the learned wonks of Pittsburgh (and beyond) that these transit cuts are being proposed just as the PA Department of Public Welfare is planning to restructure (reduce) payment rates for personal assistance services (PAS) (.pdf) to home and community-based Medicaid waiver providers in the region.

In Allegheny County and the rest of Region 1, the hourly rate for PAS will be $17.16. The rate will be $19.12 in Region 4 (Philadelphia).

The Department of Public Welfare has not made public the methodology used to create the proposed rates, which, because of Act 22, require no regulatory review.

It will put in jeopardy the ability of home care and disability service agencies to contract with the Area Agency on Aging. Waiting lists for HCBS services will grow. People will actively lose services because of the transit cuts. More expensive, less preferable (generally lower quality) nursing homes will fill up.

But how will the workers get to those nursing homes?

Here's a map of Nursing Homes (from 2007).

It's not just home care and nursing homes, but Personal Care Homes/Assisted Living too.

Here's a map of Personal Care Homes/Assisted Living Residents in Allegheny County (current as of 2007).

I will be obnoxious and repost this comment on The PUB blog too.

Sunday, May 13, 2012 4:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a related note, I'm very surprised that I never read anything about light rail capacity limits in the years leading up to completion of the North Shore Connector.

I hate to admit it, but the Allegheny Institute has a good post here (which Early Returns flagged)

Bottom line: It's not physically possible for PAT light rail to move large numbers of people away from the stadiums after events in any timely manner.

Monday, May 14, 2012 9:27:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

I'm so glad I decided to ignore all the hype and just drive downtown for the marathon.

Monday, May 14, 2012 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Allegheny Institute has a good point in that the capacity of the system is limited, especially with regard to the after-the-game crunch (although, as usual, it's overstated with their know-it-all belligerent attitude). Still, two or three doubled railcars do clear out a lot of people.

When Forbes Field let out, trolleys ran off in all directions in ten or so different routes. PAT simply doesn't have the different rail routes to disburse into, and the cars tend to stack up -- particularly when the railcars get past Station Square and start collecting fares from cash customers who pay with crumpled dollar bills. (Car checks, anyone?)

Additionally, with a money crunch, short staffing,not yet qualified personnel, passengers wondering where to go, and operators passing on overtime so they can calculate their retirement benefits while there still are any, it's no time to expect the system to work with any kind of efficiency.

Pittsburghers have a great capacity to adapt, so come back in six months if there's still any Port Authority left and see if the chaos hasn't diminished. Time - and a winning team - have a wonderful effect on the state of the world.

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