Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Catching the Bus

Tuesday's P-G included a story on the first public hearing on the Port Authority of Allegheny County's proposed bus route cuts. Among those providing testimony on behalf of the buses that serve the McDonald area were McDonald Council President Louis "Tim" Thomassy and local bus rider Yvonne Darragh.

Below is the text of a letter McDonald Borough Council has sent to PAT objecting to the proposed elimination of the 33F and 28G buses:

January 10, 2007

Mr. Steven Bland, Chief Executive Officer
Port Authority of Allegheny County
Heinz 57 Center
345 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527

Dear Mr. Bland,

We are writing to convey our strong opposition to a proposal by the Port Authority of Allegheny County to eliminate its 33F ("McDonald Express") and 28G ("Oakdale Express") bus routes as announced on January 3, 2007.

The 33F and 28G buses currently travel via Noblestown Road through McDonald Borough (in both Washington County and Allegheny County), North Fayette Township, South Fayette Township, Oakdale Borough, Collier Township and the Borough of Carnegie. The 28G conveys passengers into Downtown Pittsburgh via Liberty Avenue. For many decades, the 33F also traveled directly into Downtown Pittsburgh. In recent months, a service change forced the passengers of the 33F to disembark at the Carnegie Station and make a transfer onto a 33X or 100 bus for the distance into Downtown Pittsburgh.

Elimination of the 33F and 28G bus routes would present an economic hardship for the many commuters who live in the small towns and villages of southwestern Allegheny County and northwestern Washington County. Until the recent service change for the 33F, the early morning and late afternoon runs of theses buses had significant numbers of passengers.

Elimination of the 33F and 28G bus routes would be a particular blow for our efforts to revitalize the Borough of McDonald. A Downtown Development Plan for the Borough of McDonald was recently completed using a $25,000 allotment of federal tax dollars via the Washington County Redevelopment Authority. "Location on a public transit route" was one of the key "assets" listed in the plan. Elimination of the bus routes would be the loss of a resource for our existing businesses and make the process of new business development more difficult.

For more information about the impact the proposed elimination of the 33F and 28G bus routes would have on the Borough of McDonald and the neighboring municipalities, please contact us at (724) 926-8711 or via e-mail at We would be pleased to discuss these issues with you or your representative.

We do intend to present testimony at the January 22, 2007, public hearing on the Downtown routes.

Thank you for your interest and consideration.

Louis Thomassy, President
McDonald Borough Council

A similar letter also was sent to all of McDonald's county, state and federal representatives asking for their help in preserving the 33F and 28G bus routes.

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