Pittsburghers for Public Transit

  • PA

About Us

We are an all-volunteer, grassroots organization of transit riders and drivers that advocates for mass transit because it's essential for healthy environments, economies, and communities. We believe public transportation is our need and our right.

Simply put, we say:

NO to service cuts, layoffs, and fare hikes

NO to privatization and diverting public transportation funding into development projects

YES to more, better, and cheaper transit

YES to union labor

YES to dedicated, sustainable public funding for transit

YES to affordable housing by good transit

YES to corporations and phony nonprofits paying their "fare" share

Why PPT Supports Union Labor

PPT is a pro-union organization. As an independent organization, we choose to advocate for the greater good of all workers where they have as much control as possible over their working conditions, which happens mainly through unionization. We stand in solidarity with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) because they are a crucial part of the solution to the Pittsburgh transportation crisis and on the frontlines of attacks against public-sector unions nationwide aimed at undercutting workers' rights and livelihoods. ATU Local 85 is fighting for something they deeply believe in: good transit service for the people of Allegheny County, and we will join them in this fight.

Since May 2014, PPT has mobilized ten community-led campaigns to advocate for service in transit deserts–engaging over 4,000 residents to take action. Five of these campaigns were successful, and much needed bus service has been restored in Garfield, Penn Hills, Groveton, Mifflin Estates, Duquesne and Baldwin. These campaigns have changed the conversation about transit needs in our county and led to the adoption of Port Authority’s service guidelines, which provide a more transparent and inclusive process for decision-making and include equity as an equal factor along with efficiency and effectiveness. The campaigns we’ve supported have not only given residents access to jobs and opportunities, along with more independence, they also demonstrate the power of community-led collective action. We have also been a leading voice in ensuring equity with the region's proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor and 61 bus service in the Mon Valley, for affordable housing, for decriminalized fare enforcement and raised critical questions about autonomous vehicle technology.

There are a variety of organizations working on improving transit, but we are the only group which engages directly with transit riders and workers—serving as a model for groups across the country. Bus operators, in particular, have been instrumental in our community campaigns. PPT helps residents understand their rights to access public transit and to develop and share their voices on what our transit system should look like. Public transit is OUR transit, and the people who operatemaintain, and use the system everyday should have a primary seat at the table. PPT is focused on promoting civic engagement and democracy, and we aim to connect the struggles for a strong public transit system to other struggles in our communities, including fair housing, clean air and water, workers’ and riders’ rights, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a project of the Thomas Merton Center.