Pitt, Port Authority OK U-Pass extension
Port Authority of Allegheny County extended a ridership agreement with the University of Pittsburgh for another month while the parties continue negotiating a new long-term deal, officials said.
Port Authority’s U-Pass program allows Pitt’s 40,000 students and employees with a valid, university-issued ID card to ride agency vehicles without paying fares. Pitt paid Port Authority $6.8 million in the last year of a five-year agreement that expired in July, up from $2.9 million in the first year of the deal.
Friday’s one-month extension was the second since the contract expired.
“Anyone with an ID continues to ride. This doesn’t affect anyone from a customer standpoint,” said Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie.
Neither Ritchie nor a Pitt spokesman would comment on the negotiations.
Pitt, however, said more than a year ago that it questioned the amount of money it was paying in the deal, given that Port Authority had decreased transit service in Oakland since the last agreement was reached.
After Port Authority imposed 15 percent service cuts in March 2011 to help close a $46 million budget deficit, a Pitt official said the university was considering asking for lower payments to reflect the decreased service.
A month after those cuts, Pitt spokeswoman Linda K. Schmitmeyer said the university’s request could include “recommended compensation adjustments if it is determined that service modifications have a significant impact on the university’s overall ridership levels.”
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or [email protected].