At yesterday’s hearing on the Port Authority’s proposed plan to deal with a financial shortfall by cutting routes, raising fares, and reducing employees, it was a surprise to no one that the majority of speakers were persons with disabilities, seniors, and individuals living in less-affluent areas. No shock there. We always seem to go after those deemed most vulnerable. All the more reason, as the old saying goes, to “not agonize, organize!”
I was most impressed by the speakers who more than pleading for the saving of a particular route, shed light on the systemic nature of the issue. There is no cancelled bus route that does not impact each and every one of us. Nothing happens in a vacuum.
Advocacy Lesson #7: Present the systemic quality of an issue and show persons how the issue impacts them.
As for our ongoing transportation angst, the facts are: without a first class transportation system, Pittsburgh will remain a minor league city dreaming of reaching big league status.