For over a century, public transportation has driven growth in our region. Many of our communities owe their existence to the streetcars and inclines that dotted our hillsides. The Port Authority provides absolutely essential services to our city and our region, and we must give it the resources it needs to continue providing Pittsburgh with a vibrant transportation system. In these tough economic times, we cannot afford to cut off our neighborhoods and businesses from development.
As the executive director of a non-profit focused on attracting and retaining talented individuals to this region, I know that the key to keeping this region competitive is a holistic transportation system. We can never hope to be a world class region if we don't have world class transit.
Statewide Solution to Transit Funding
The Port Authority faces a $64 million shortfall, which would force absolutely devastating cuts to buses and paratransit in the region. This problem has no easy solution; but I believe that the state is invested in the outcome and therefore should be a part of the remedy. In the house, I will work with my colleagues from across the state and across the aisle to find a solution to the transit funding crisis across the state. I will push for the adoption of policies that encourage equity of all types of transportation improvements, including those for bicycles and pedestrians.
Leverage Transportation Assets as a Development Strategy
Public transportation is an investment in our neighborhoods and a way to keep jobs in our communities. We need to make a commitment to a 21st century transportation network. I will take the best practices of other states to heart in encouraging innovative transportation solutions that foster walkable transit-oriented development. Drawing on the experiences of other states and successful policies in Pennsylvania, I will use transit to connect residents to opportunities and to each other.