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Westmoreland

Sick days delay Westmoreland Transit buses to Pittsburgh

Rich Cholodofsky
| Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, 4:06 p.m.
Tribune-Review

A staffing issue at the Westmoreland County Transit Authority's maintenance center in Hempfield delayed several bus routes for about 30 minutes Wednesday morning.

Two employees — a morning dispatcher and road supervisor — in charge of opening the center in the predawn hours both called in sick, said Alan Blahovec, the authority's executive director. It took about half an hour before authority administrators were made aware of the issue and opened the center so drivers could begin pre-route preparations.

National Express Transit Inc., the Ohio-based company that operates the authority's bus fleet and maintenance center, was responsible for those personnel issues, Blahovec said.

National Express officials did not respond to a request for comment.

“It was a mistake, and there is no excuse for it,” Blahovec said. “It cannot happen again.”

The issue delayed buses on five routes, all commuter service into Pittsburgh. Some passengers waited longer than usual for the first runs of the day, which start at 5:15 a.m. Two routes made up time and reached Pittsburgh on schedule, Blahovec said.

In all, the authority operates about 20 daily routes, including commuter service into Pittsburgh as well as local service throughout the county. All other routes were on time Wednesday, Blahovec said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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