Chelsa Wagner on Port Authority 'Failures'

The new county controller comes down hard on public transit.

"As the county's top fiscal officer, Controller Chelsa Wagner leads the fight against inefficient and inequitable spending, working to root out fraud, waste and abuse in county government. Chelsa ensures the controller's office is a direct, effective advocate for Allegheny County, this region, and most importantly, the taxpayers."

Those are the words used on the Allegheny County Controller's website to describe the job, or jobs, assigned to Wagner during her time in that office.

And for Wagner, the former state representative who at 's , she's not wasting any time in this her first term as Controller.

Wagner publicly called out Port Authority of Allegheny County leaders with a May 15 letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which she denounces Port Authority for its recent "failures that ... eroded public trust and good will."

She writes, "While the Port Authority acknowledged that late or missing trains and uncollected fares (from May 5-6 during Pittsburgh Marathon and Pittsburgh Pirates activities) were 'inexcusable,' I was frustrated to see comments initially indicating the Port Authority will not add service during major events and blaming sick or injured workers.

"I rode the 'T' to and from the Saturday Pirates game and again to the marathon, and the problems were certainly not the workers' fault. The Port Authority's statements display a lack of management leadership and vision. And where there is no vision, the people perish."

Wagner goes on to suggest that business owners in downtown Pittsburgh might be willing to "underwrite improvements for efficient fare collection."

Read her full letter here.

Thoughts? Share them in the comments section below.


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Frank May 16, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Very well said.
bd May 16, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I seem to recall that this is the same Chelsea Wagner who advocated for sending more money to PAT while she was a state representative for the 22nd District. Send gobs of money with no changes in PAT's operational problems. Now, as County Controller, she is an advocate for the taxpayers? I question her sincerity and honestly.
Sandra May 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Why is poor service only inexcusable during the Pittsburgh Marathon and Pirate game on the weekend? What about when service is poor for people trying to get to and from work every day during the week? I ride the T every day because PAT elimated my bus last year. There have been several times since the north shore connector has opened when the T would just speed past our stop without stopping making an announcement that it's full. People NEED to get to work, and some people aren't allowed to be late. Some people don't have the luxury of waiting an additional 10 minutes for the next T to come by, hoping it will stop. There are always issues with the T and PAT, this is nothing new. I don't understand how elimating routes could make more of a profit. I could go on and on, but I don't think there is enough space on this website.
Sandra May 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Port Authority IS a "failure".
Common Sense June 11, 2012 at 12:15 AM
PAT is a joke and failure. We had the alcohol tax and what did they do with that money?


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