Sunday, September 14, 2008

Possible PAT strike could affect thousands of college and high school students

According to the Pittsburgh Port Authority website, it is estimated that about 15% of the people who use their services are students. They have also estimated that on the weekdays, an average of 219,667 people ride the bus, trolley, or incline every day. That's roughly about 32,950 students using PAT to get to school daily.

And it's not just college students either.

Port Authority also services Pittsburgh Public Schools for transporting their students to and from high schools such as Carrick High School, Allderdice High School, and the new Schenley High School.

I'm not really quite sure how Pittsburgh Public Schools would respond if there was a strike, but with their students facing strict attendance standards, it could result in many of them flunking their classes because of a situation that they cannot control.

I also don't believe that they would have enough regular yellow school buses and school bus drivers to transport those students affected by the possible PAT strike. And some parents may not be able to transport their children to school because of either lack of time, vehicle, or interference with their own schedules.

Some prominent commuter colleges in the city of Pittsburgh, like CCAC (the Community College of Allegheny County) and Point Park University, have already planned what they will do in response to a PAT strike. CCAC has stated that they will cancel all classes, while Point Park has unfortunately stated that they will not. But what about the public school students in the city? There hasn't seem to have been a response from the school district on how they will handle this issue.

Sometimes I think that people forget that it's not just their ability to get to work that could potentially be affected by a very possible PAT strike. The education of their children, whether in college or high school, could very well be put on hold.

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