Residents of the South Pittsburgh communities of Beltzhoover and Knoxville will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday July 31, at St. Paul AME Church, 400 Orchard St., Pittsburgh, PA 15210, with state and local legislators and Port Authority administration to discuss their concerns regarding the proposed elimination of bus service to the area.
Leaders from the Beltzho-over Neighborhood Council, Beltzhoover Neighborhood Association, Beulah Baptist Church, South Hills Baptist Church and St. Paul AME Church, have come together to schedule the meeting. Those invited to attend include: District 3 City Councilman Bruce Kraus; County Councilwoman Amanda Green Hawkins; Tony Mosesso (representing Sen. Wayne Fontana) ; Rep. Jake Wheatley; Steve Bland, CEO Port Authority Transit; and, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
This open meeting is a culmination of a series of meetings coordinated by Jacqueline Wilson; Ph.D., who is a lifelong resident of Beltzhoover.
Previous meetings have resulted in the implementation of a letter writing campaign and the circulation of petitions. These strategies were developed to bring voice to the residents of these communities and the importance of public transportation to their daily living.
Approximately 36 percent of Beltzhoover and Knoxville residents rely on bus transportation to and from work, making bus availability imperative. Many of the area's high school students are also employed during after school hours.
While for many communities after school employment provides for the ‘extras' desired by youth, 43 percent of Beltzhoover youth are living below the poverty level making their employment more out of necessity than enjoyment or luxury. Being unable to maintain employment has the potential of thrusting these families deeper into poverty.
In addition, a large number of senior citizens have public transportation as their only option while trying to maintain their independence.