A plan introduced Wednesday to balance the state budget threatens a significant amount of funding to the Allegheny County Port Authority and could result in its public transit system having to cut operations by up to half. A proposed cut of $80 million to the agency could mean cuts twice as deep as what the agency sustained several years ago when it was left with a $35 million deficit. Port Authority Spokesman Adam Brandolph said the 2011 and 2012 cuts in state funding and the resulting deficit caused the agency to eliminate 29 bus routes, close the Harmar garage and lay off 200 employees. “These [cuts] would be similar if not much worse,” he said. “We would anticipate these cuts to be just as drastic if not twice as drastic.”
Proposed cuts to various pots of state money — including funds that are allocated to public transit — were the Republican lawmakers’ way of proposing a balanced state budget more than two months after the deadline has passed.