Transportation
3:44 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

Fitzgerald: Create Regional Transit Agency

The Democratic candidate for Allegheny County Executive said the state should create a regional transit agency for southwestern Pennsylvania.

During a campaign address about working for senior citizens, former County Council President Rich Fitzgerald said the new agency would consolidate each county's current transit service into one larger entity to cut costs.

Fitzgerald said the idea originated with the governor's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. "He talks about merging and consolidating other counties into a, kind of a shared services or consolidated services [system] to streamline the cost," said Fitzgerald. "I agree with the governor and his plan on that, and I think I want to work towards doing that with our county commissioners and our delegation in Harrisburg to put that in place."

Fitzgerald said the state legislature will ultimately decide if a regional transit agency is prudent, but he'll lobby for it if he's elected as County Executive. The Pittsburgh Democrat said each county transit authority receives the "lion's share" of its funding from the state already, and he expects a multi-county model would work in a similar fashion.

Since about one-third of people working Downtown come from outside Allegheny County, Fitzgerald said it's time for the transit system to reflect a regional economy.