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Waiting For The Bus: Port Authority's Recent String Of Call Offs Has Riders Worried

By: Shelley Bortz

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Tomorrow, the Gateway T station will be bustling with people, but the problem is, riders don't know if it will be running.

Right now, the Port Authority is on a "wait and see" approach as to how many drivers and operators will show up to work.

That has some riders worried that when they make their way to their stops tomorrow, they might not get picked up.

On a normal day, about 20 work hours are lost due to call-offs, but this past Saturday, that number spiked to 830.

The call-offs came after a judge upheld the Port Authority's vaccination requirement for employees. About 500 workers are still unvaccinated and 200 of those workers are drivers.

Anyone not fully vaccinated by Tuesday will be suspended with pay, pending a hearing.

Riders have been warned about possible delays and disruptions over the next few weeks and have even been encouraged to find alternative transportation.

Some riders waiting for the bus on Sunday said they understand the dilemma and hope it can be worked out soon, at least for the sake of those in need of transportation.

"I think it is technically within their right but they are part of public transit," said Zachary Ramcharan. "We have to wear a mask on this bus so it's part of the job and part of everyone's duty to vaccinate, get boosted, and try to get this pandemic over as soon as possible."

The Port Authority said there weren't as many call-offs on Sunday but it's still too early to say what will happen tomorrow.

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