HARRISBURG, January 2, 2007 – A bipartisan group of state Senators representing Allegheny County today pledged to help solve the Port Authority Transit’s (PAT) financial problems.

State Senators Jay Costa, Jane Orie, Sean Logan, John Pippy, and Wayne Fontana said they will work to prevent lay-offs and service cuts, but said the solution to the financially troubled transit agency’s problems must be broad-based and multi-faceted.

“State government cannot solve the Port Authority’s problems on its own,” Costa said. “It is imperative that Port Authority officials, union leaders, and representatives from the city, county, state and federal governments come to the table to work with us to find a viable solution.”

Fontana added that the state already provides 63 percent of the authority’s funding – a higher percent than any other authority in Pennsylvania.

Orie said, “Before state government provides more resources to PAT, it is imperative that the authority reform the way it does business, streamlines costs, and implement spending control mechanisms.”

Logan added, “It is not fair to characterize this as just a state government problem. While these jobs and transportation routes are critically important to our communities, PAT must make significant systemic changes and prove that it can operate more efficiently and accountably.”

Pippy said he will insist that PAT provide detailed reasoning behind its proposed lay-offs and service cuts, and also provide a long-range sustainable operational plan that would implement the kind of structural changes that will enable it to operate in a more businesslike way.