Westmoreland bus system operator racks up more fines, tops $100K in penalties since October
Fines leveled against the Ohio-based private company that operates the bus and paratransit programs for the Westmoreland County Transit Authority have now topped $100,000 in four months.
The authority imposed $20,000 more in damages against National Express Transit for continued maintenance and operation failures in December. Authority operations director Meghan Yuhouse said the fines were imposed for lost service, route cancellations and maintenance issues that continued to plague the bus service that operates two dozen daily and Saturday routes.
Still, the fines were less than the $60,000 imposed in December for the previous two months. An additional $24,000 in fines were issued against the company in October.
“It’s an improvement,” Yuhouse said of latest round of fines.
Nearly all of the new fines were attributed to problems with the authority’s fixed-route bus service. Yuhouse said just $400 in fines were associated with Go Westmoreland, the authority’s paratransit system that provides door-to-door, on-demand service for riders who receive medical assistance and other social service benefits.
National Express signed a five-year, $39 million contract to operate and maintain the authority’s fleet of buses and paratransit vehicles. Company management last year acknowledged it has struggled to provide enough drivers, supervisors and mechanics to properly operate the services.
Bill Steinmetz, the Westmoreland County-based general manager for National Express, declined to comment on the most recent fines.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .