Letters to the editor: 3/5/05 Try hub and spoke
Can someone help me understand why a "hub and spoke" system of mass transit won't work in the Pittsburgh region? Why does the Port Authority run mostly empty buses into the city at many times of the day and then use this as an excuse to curtail service to many areas and raise rates?
Perhaps using the airlines as an example is not entirely safe, but it seems to me that running smaller shuttles in a specific area on a more frequent schedule to a central hub from where a larger bus or trolley then travels to the city makes more economic sense than the current system.
Airlines would not use a Boeing 747 to travel between Pittsburgh and Latrobe; they match equipment to the route and passenger load. Drivers of smaller equipment would be less experienced and earn less, just as they would in the airline industry. More frequent service in an area would likely increase the number of users of public transportation.
I don't like multiple stopovers and changing planes, but it is better than no service at all.
JIM KILMER, Whitehall
Jim, I'm with you in your wonderment. We have plenty of questions and too few answers. I'm preaching a need to do back and forth bus routes of shorter distances. The hub and spoke model includes lots of back and forth routes. Same outcome, slightly different descriptions.
The details of what line to cut and what hub to create becomes community issues. As a senator, the issue is the PAT performance. An example is PAT's legacy bus routes. Routes don't evolve as they could. The effectiveness and lack of being effective is the hurdle PAT fails to pass. PAT isn't able to adapt in an easy way. The fare change threat cost PAT more than $200,000. New rate cards cost that much?
PAT needs to have public officials pushing on them to get out of the zone of doing too little and doing it too late. And moreso, PAT might need to have public officials pullig for PAT to accomplish excellent community service at bargain prices.