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November 21, 2012

Pitt-Port Authority talks continue

port authority busTalks between the University and the Port Authority of Allegheny County are continuing in an attempt to reach a new agreement under which Pitt IDs can be used to ride transit in Allegheny County.

Pitt students and employees continue to ride until Nov. 30 under an extension to the five-year agreement that expired July 31.

Port Authority spokesperson Jim Ritchie told the University Times that the agreement has not been extended further, but that the Port Authority would address the issue should negotiations go beyond Nov. 30.

A University spokesperson told the University Times there was nothing new to report.

The fare-free ride program, in place since 1997, cost the University $6.8 million in fiscal year 2012.

The program is paid for in part by a $90 per term Pittsburgh campus student security, safety and transportation fee.

The rest comes from the Office of Parking, Transportation and Services’ auxiliary operations budget.

Previously, Pitt’s payments were based on ridership figures recorded manually by Port Authority drivers. A smart card system that was touted as a more accurate means of tallying rides and verifying valid Pitt IDs was implemented April 1. No ridership figures have been released.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 45 Issue 7

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