Pittsburgh Regional Transit CEO Kathryn Keleman spoke at the agency’s board meeting Friday about service cuts and bus and train cancellations.

“Probably the reason your bus didn’t show up isn’t because we didn’t have a vehicle, it’s because we didn’t have someone to drive that trip,” she said.

Keleman said PRT is “not unique,” with transportation agencies across the country grappling with labor shortages that began with the COVID-19 pandemic. While other systems have seen service cuts of 10 percent or more, Caleman said the PRT has tried to ease the problem by making incremental cuts: 2 percent in April, 4 percent in June and 0.5 percent in September.

“We thought it would be resolved by now,” she said of the staffing shortage. “As you know it didn’t happen.”

If PRT can’t hire more staff, Keleman said, further cuts are possible.

In the latest round of schedule adjustments, which will take effect Nov. 20, PRT cut service by another 2 percent, or 488 hours per week.

Missed buses and trains wreak havoc on riders’ lives and schedules. More than 30 people signed up to address the PRT board Friday morning and urged officials to restore service to pre-pandemic levels. In a news release, Pittsburghers for Public Transit described the cuts and lack of reliability as a “crisis.”

Meanwhile, Spanish-speakers urged the port administration make language adjustments for people who rely on the Red Line. These riders also experienced numerous service changes and closures as the route underwent repairs.

Transportation agencies must provide information in languages ​​spoken in at least 5 percent of homes before federal regulations require the agency to act, Keleman said. She noted that more than 2 percent of Allegheny County families do not speak a language other than English, but said the PRT recognizes that need.

“We know we have friends who speak different languages ​​at home and they just want information about where their bus will be,” she said, adding that the PRT will primarily focus on Chinese and Spanish speakers.

It is not yet known when the materials will be available.