Aug. 26--The Westmoreland County Transit Authority board has promoted its interim director to lead the public transportation agency.
Alan Blahovec will serve as executive director, replacing Larry Morris, who resigned last month to take a job in the private sector.
Blahovec, 42, of Youngwood has served for more than a decade as the authority's chief financial officer. He was appointed interim director on Aug. 4.
He will receive a $12,000 raise, bringing his annual salary to $89,000.
"We waited a month, and we all agreed: Al was the right decision, the right way to go," board Chairman Frank Tosto said.
No other candidates were considered, Tosto said.
"We have a lot going on, and I take it as an opportunity to evaluate the authority. I don't think we're looking for major changes right now," Tosto said.
Blahovec's salary could be re-evaluated after six months or a year, Tosto said.
"We have a lot of work to do," Blahovec said. "All of our service contracts expire this year, and we have to maintain service."
The authority operates 23 daily and weekend bus routes throughout Westmoreland County and into Pittsburgh. Ridership has increased steadily for the last several years with commuter service to Pittsburgh taking over as the primary focus of the authority.
The authority last year carried more than 563,000 passengers on its bus fleet.
Last year, the authority took over transportation for all human service programs, providing door-to-door rides for seniors, people with disabilities or low incomes, and other qualified participants.
The program averages more than 24,000 rides a month.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
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