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Pittsburgh group advocates for sustainable funding for transit

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 1:08 p.m.

Pittsburgh transit advocates launched a campaign Tuesday to press state leaders for increased funding to expand Port Authority of Allegheny County service and reduce fares.

“The funding announced last year (to avert 35 percent service cuts) was a just a temporary fix. We need a permanent solution,” said Helen Gerhardt, spokeswoman for Pittsburghers for Public Transit, after a Downtown news conference.

Gov. Tom Corbett is expected on Thursday to unveil his plan to boost state transportation funding. Officials have said close to $2 billion could come from lifting a cap on the oil franchise tax that gas wholesalers pay.

“We're not opposing that he do that, but it's not sustainable. It's not enough,” Gerhardt said, noting gas sales figure to decrease as vehicles continue to become more fuel efficient.

Gerhardt said her group plans to press state legislators to boost funding over the next several weeks, culminating with a Feb. 11 rally in Harrisburg.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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