Pittsburgh Transit Bailout Railroads Taxpayers

PA Independent reports that Pennsylvania state taxpayers will give $30 million to the Port Authority of Allegheny County to entice the local union to sign a contract:

Pittsburgh’s public transit system is safe from layoffs and service cuts, thanks to a $30 million bailout from state taxpayers. …

The state’s $30 million commitment depended upon the union cutting its costs, state officials said. But the contract also includes unique language that keeps the state on the hook for future funding reform.

If more than 5 percent of employees are laid off, the union has a right to revert back to its previous contract. That means if the state doesn’t come up with a way to sustain funding at Port Authority, the union will give up its recently-negotiated concessions.

At this point, no one can really say where the $30 million will come from, other than somewhere from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s budget.

But hey, I’m sure PennDOT has excess funds lying around to prop up a wasteful and inefficient local government agency. It isn’t like Pennsylvania has hundreds of structurally deficient bridges or crumbling roads, or that lobbyists are saying the only way to fix our infrastructure is with higher taxes.