Pitt, Port Authority OK U-Pass extension |

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].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.