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Chelsa Wagner on Port Authority 'Failures'

The new county controller comes down hard on public transit.

"As the county's top fiscal officer, Controller Chelsa Wagner leads the fight against inefficient and inequitable spending, working to root out fraud, waste and abuse in county government. Chelsa ensures the controller's office is a direct, effective advocate for Allegheny County, this region, and most importantly, the taxpayers."

Those are the words used on the Allgheny County Controller's website to describe the job, or jobs, assigned to Wagner during her time in that office.

And for Wagner, the former state representative who at 's , she's not wasting any time in this her first term as Controller.

Wagner publicly called out Port Authority of Allegheny County leaders with a May 15 letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which she denounces Port Authority for its recent "failures that ... eroded public trust and good will."

She writes, "While the Port Authority acknowledged that late or missing trains and uncollected fares (from May 5-6 during Pittsburgh Marathon and Pittsburgh Pirates activities) were 'inexcusable,' I was frustrated to see comments initially indicating the Port Authority will not add service during major events and blaming sick or injured workers.

"I rode the 'T' to and from the Saturday Pirates game and again to the marathon, and the problems were certainly not the workers' fault. The Port Authority's statements display a lack of management leadership and vision. And where there is no vision, the people perish."

Wagner goes on to suggest that business owners in downtown Pittsburgh might be willing to "underwrite improvements for efficient fare collection."

Read her full letter here.

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