Easy Come, Easy Go

Last week we learned that the Rivers Casino and the Steelers had agreed to ante up $200,000 to cover free rides for North Shore Connector passengers. That brought the total of such payment agreements to $360,000 when combined with the Alco Parking and Stadium Authority contract reached earlier.

Well as the saying has it; easy come, easy go. On Friday last week Judge McVerry ordered the Port Authority to pay the ACLU and a group advocating felons’ right to vote $340,000 for PAT’s refusal to allow the group’s ads to be displayed on PAT buses. We have yet to learn how much legal expense PAT has paid out fighting the case or how much more will be required if they opt to appeal the Judge’s decision.

One could argue that PAT is better off by virtue of reaching the agreements for the $360,000 in free ride payments since it was almost certain to lose the lawsuit. But, it still begs the question: Why does PAT expect so few passengers who would be willing to pay that they would settle for $360,000? That certainly does not gibe with the optimism about the ridership included in the application for Federal funding. However, it is unlikely any of the most vocal proponents will be stepping forward with an explanation of why they were so wrong.