South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

CCC elects board members, hears of new transit changes

 


Three board nominees were elected prior to a presentation on Port Authority’s changes for 2017 at last Monday’s Carrick Community Council (CCC) meeting in the Concord K5 auditorium.

Board nominees Rich Dervin, Linda Donahue, and Sherry Loy opened the meeting with short introductions prior to the election. Following the presentations, each candidate secured a board position by obtaining at least 18 votes required from registered CCC members.

Ms. Loy has been an active member of the CCC for several years and has helped to organize local events such as the annual Cornfest, Halloween party, and neighborhood cleanups.

Ms. Donahue is the vice president of the CCC. She is responsible for organizing tree tending and cleanup events around the community.

Mr. Dervin has been a resident of Carrick for eight years and also represents the CCC at the monthly Hilltop Alliance meetings.

Following the election, Julie Reiland from Pittsburgh’s Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspection (PLI) provided a short presentation on Building Eye, the city’s new website that provides a visual representation of the approval process for building permit applications.

The website contains a map of the city with dots that each represent a building permit application. Green dots indicate completed applications while blue dots indicate applications in progress. The website is updated nightly and residents can sign up to receive email alerts.

“If there’s some development going on, as soon as they apply to the planning department you can see them on this website,” Ms. Reiland said.

The website also provides information on code violations, current business licenses, vendor licenses, geographical licenses, and planning applications. While not available currently, there are plans to include applicant information in the future.

The website address is http://www.pittsburghpa.buildingeye.com.

Following Ms. Reiland’s presentation, several Port Authority changes including fare increases for cash riders, were discussed by Deborah Skillings, community outreach coordinator at Port Authority.

In an attempt to increase ConnectCard adoption, all cash riders will pay $2.75 per ride beginning on January 1 while riders with a Port Authority ConnectCard will continue to pay $2.50 per ride.

“This is one of the highest paying cash areas,” Ms. Skillings said. “Carrick is the number one area where individuals are paying cash versus using the ConnectCard.”

Riders are able to obtain a ConnectCard at Giant Eagle and Shop n’ Save locations and can load monthly passes, weekly passes or cash value at the same locations or any ticket vending machine.

While ConnectCards are currently free, Port Authority will charge $1 per card beginning on January 1.

Port Authority will also eliminate paper transfers. Riders will still receive a $1 transfer discount when scanning the ConnectCard on a second vehicle. As a result of the new flat rate fares, Port Authority is also eliminating fare changes between zones.

“We’re going to go with a flat rate where everybody is going to pay $2.50,” Ms. Skillings said. “All of our zoning is going to go away.”

Ms. Skillings also announced two new cards: a new half-fare card for children ages 6-11 and a half-fare card for riders with disabilities or special needs. Both cards accept pre-loaded passes or cash value.

Riders can obtain a child’s card or a reduced fare card at the Port Authority’s downtown service center. A birth certificate may be required for a child’s card and a Medicare card is required to obtain a reduced fare card.

“Each individual needs their own card,” Ms. Skillings said. “You’re going to need to get a card for each person.”

Also among the new cards is a day pass that gives riders unlimited access to Port Authority vehicles on the day the pass is purchased. Passes will cost $7 and will expire at 12 a.m.

Port Authority will also require that all fares are paid when boarding a vehicle, and riders must exit through the rear door; however, riders with disabilities will still be able to exit at the front door. The new policies will apply regardless of travel direction or time of day.

There will not be any changes to senior citizen payment; however, it may become electronic in the future.

Following the Port Authority presentation, Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak also provided a brief update on staffing plans for 2017.

“Today, the mayor delivered his budget to city council,” Councilwoman Rudiak said. “What I can do is relay some things from his official budget address.”

Ms. Rudiak said several budget hearings will take place before plans are finalized; however, there are plans to hire 80 new police officers, 20 EMTs, and increase the number of building inspectors to more than the city has seen in over a decade.

For more information on the CCC or for upcoming events in Carrick, visit http://www.carrickpa.com.

 

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