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Mayor Ed Gainey And His Team Meet With Community About Revisions To Mon-Oakland Connector Program

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Following community blowback over the $24 million infrastructure project, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey announced the end of the Mon-Oakland Connector shuttle.

On Thursday, the mayor and his team spoke with community members about the revisions during their first listening session at the Propel School in Hazelwood.

"We may not have all the answers. But the answers that we don't have, we'll be willing to come back to ensure that we answer those questions," said Gainey.

The original project would have provided shuttle service from Oakland to tech space in Hazelwood. Transportation advocates and other community members have been voicing concerns for some time about the shuttle.

Laura Chu Wiens, the executive director for Pittsburghers for Public Transit, told KDKA, "That is not where the needs of Hazelwood and other residents lie. They wanted connections to food and healthcare and the shuttle would not have served that."

The revised project no longer includes the shuttle and will instead focus on improvements to transit in the Boulevard-Bates-Second Avenue Corridor, reducing traffic congestion, improving connectivity between Hazelwood and Oakland, and improving access to public transit.

Wiens wants to make sure resources for future projects serve residents, not just developers.

"Taxpayer money is our money. And it can be used to directly serve our needs, for infrastructure and safety, for pedestrians, for transit, for dignified ways to be on the streets," said Wiens.

The project will still create green stormwater infrastructure to mitigate flooding, better access to Schenley Park's trails and a new pedestrian trail from Oakland to Hazelwood.

The city will continue its work with community members, the county, Port Authority, Pitt and CMU on the project.

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