I am so confused.

How in the heck can a project that is costing hundreds of millions of dollars more than it was supposed to cost be called “under budget?

Is this that new math everyone is talking about?

Mr. Simmonds said the North Shore Connector was projected to add about $1 million to the authority’s operating costs (the authority has a $300 million-plus operating budget). With its chronic financial problems and imminent layoffs, the authority has scrapped plans to hire additional personnel for the subway extension, so its cost will be less than originally projected.

Sneaky. The building of it isn’t under budget. Once it’s up and running, OPERATING it will be under budget.

Talk about spin.

I’m dizzy from it.


  1. Beth
    November 29, 2010 1:52 pm

    I saw this last week and “WTF?” was my first reaction also.

    What a joke the Port Authority is.

  2. Maggie K
    November 29, 2010 2:05 pm

    It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that matters….they are all full of crapola and think most people are idiots

  3. Barry
    November 29, 2010 2:10 pm

    I think they may have hired Baghdad Bob as their new PR spokesman.

  4. KGC
    November 29, 2010 3:03 pm

    Nah, you just have to understand governmentalese speak.

    You see, it would have cost a LOT more had PAT went ahead and built everything in the original plans, including the White Elephant (a/k/a Convention Center) station.

    Ergo… It’s under budget!

  5. #1 WI Steeler Fan
    November 29, 2010 3:21 pm

    Typical politician doublespeak.

  6. SteelerFan
    November 29, 2010 4:30 pm

    I will not let you rain on my North Shore Connector parade. I smile every time I see the construction, thinking about the day that I will ride it to Heinz Field.

  7. jmarie
    November 29, 2010 8:29 pm

    I have to say. I remember signs in Gateway 3 where i work that said coming early 2011. So we are now on time for a late 2012 opening? Oh and those signs are gone.

    Must be the pigeons removing the signs and holding and playing with the computer to change dates.

    Sounds right.

  8. Will C
    November 29, 2010 9:59 pm

    Not sure what all the hate on the North Shore connector is all about. Infrastructure is expensive, that is all there is to it. If you don’t believe me, go look up the figures on the $30+ million being spent from Stimulus on upkeep of the Ft. Pitt bridge versus what it would cost to build a new one. Your jaw would hit the floor.

    Yet infrastructure like this is what allows the city and immediate burghs to grow. In the long run, more housing space will be built near the T line now that it serves North Shore. That will mean more taxpayers, which will mean the city will be in better financial help in the future.

  9. Chris
    November 29, 2010 10:30 pm

    I believe the point is not whether the Connector was a good idea but the blatant lie that it is under budget and on schedule.

  10. Burghthing
    November 29, 2010 11:44 pm

    So we’re gonna build houses in Heinz field parking lots now Will?

  11. northside15212
    November 30, 2010 12:17 am

    #7 -Not a single home will be built near either of the “T” stops on the North Side. Check their location –it simply won’t happen. The North Side is home to the Carnegie Science Center, Heinz Field, PNC Park, a Casino, the AE Amphitheater, a few hotels and office buildings, and commuter parking lots when not in use by any of the former. Any future extension beyond the two existing stops on the North Side will likely not result in housing growth, but to serve the existing suburbs already in place; however, the commutes are not so cumbersome, nor does the growth anticipated in the region pass the litmus for proceeding with such a project.

    The final point above makes any discussion of cost overruns moot: the tunnel was not needed–in any remotely rational mass transit scenario–and thus the funds should NOT HAVE BEEN SPENT AT ALL, but rather returned to the general fund of the US Treasury, and the same as well for the local tax contribution. This is not a question of competing priorities, it is a classic example of spending money we do not have on a project we do not need.

    Sadly, Pittsburgh is but one, small constituency “served” by this pork. Add another 100 cities to the equation, each with a similar pork barrel, do-nothing, bullshit project, and multiply that by another 100, and you get an idea, at least partially, as to why we find ourselves in the fiscal situation we are in. There is plenty more to THAT issue, but certainly these types of ridiculous expenditures play a large role in the fiscal collapse of municipal governments nationwide.

    The pro-Port Authority crowd will cry foul when the state firmly, and finally, denies the funding necessary to stave off the cuts that are coming, but they are living in a fantasy world on a false economy. Already the Port Authority derives something on the order of 80% of its budget from taxpayers, the other 20% from ridership and “other” revenues. This funding system is designed this way for a reason: to keep those using the system divorced from the actual costs of operating it. The fantasy would have gone on forever had Federal, State, and Municipal governments not all collapsed at once.

  12. BeauJacques
    November 30, 2010 5:14 am

    @ WillC #7-


    Northside15212 said it exactly!

    The only thing he/she left out was that the
    the Northshore “connector” besides only servicing
    Nuttings golden taxpayer goose and Heinz Field, and the CASINO, is the soon-to-ripen super annuities
    which are ALCO’s privately owned parking while the city finalizes the death blow to downtown
    parking by anybody except partners at Reed-Smith
    and KL Gates, or UPMC & Highmark servants,

    Not ONE FUCKING NON PARK & RIDER will ever use that T to commute, it serves NOBODY on the Northside!!

    And you idiots elected ALL OF THESE CLOWNS!

    Reap the harvest ye!

    Keep a blind eye at the slow-motion anal rape!

  13. Pingback: $117 million < 0? « Internet Scofflaw