Friday, October 30, 2009

Gateway T station closes tomorrow for construction

The Gateway T station in Downtown Pittsburgh will close until further notice tomorrow to allow Port Authority to build a new station near the intersection of Liberty and Stanwix.
The new station will serve the North Shore Connector, which is scheduled to be completed by 2012.

The Wood Street T station is the closest alternative for light-rail riders and is located about three blocks from the Gateway station. Riders should board at Wood Street on the following platforms:

  • 42C, 42S and 52: Board and discharge on the outbound platform.
  • 47L and 47S: Board and discharge on the inbound platform.
All rail cars will reverse direction at Wood Street Station, and riders on the last car will not be able to exit at low-level stops or stations without fare booth attendants. This pertains especially to riders who are accustomed to boarding the inbound cars at First Avenue or Steel Plaza in the afternoon and remaining seated as the cars loop and head outbound.
More details are available on our Web site.

Additionally, other Downtown T stations will be closing on certain upcoming weekends for construction work. The schedule is as follows:

  • Oct. 31/Nov. 1: Gateway, Wood Street and Steel Plaza stations will close. Bus shuttles will serve street-level stops outside Gateway, Wood Street and Steel Plaza to First Avenue station.
  • Nov. 7/8: Gateway, Wood Street and Steel Plaza will close. Bus shuttles will serve Wood Street and Steel Plaza to First Avenue.
  • Nov. 14/15: Gateway and Wood Street closed.
  • Nov. 21/22: Gateway and Wood Street closed.
  • Nov. 28/29: Gateway closed. All other Downtown stations will be open.

Also, riders may travel for free within Downtown at all times using buses following regular routes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bingo with Batch to benefit the United Way

On Tuesday, November 3, Port Authority will host a Bingo fundraiser to benefit the United Way. Assisting us with this very worthy cause will be a very special guest...Steeler Charlie Batch!

Join us at St. Mary of Mercy Church at 202 Stanwix Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Time permitting, Charlie will call the first game.

A donation of $7 gets you admission, five Bingo boards and the chance to win door prizes.

Additional boards will be available for purchase and we'll be holding 50/50 drawings and raffles for great giveways like casino trips and Steelers jerseys.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Robbie Gouch at (412) 566-5227. A ticket and ID are required for entry, and you must be 18 or older to attend.

Refreshments will be available, but no alcoholic beverages or smoking will be permitted.

The United Way of Allegheny County assists hundreds of thousands of local people in need by supporting agencies that perform critical services, like helping struggling families with food, shelter and other basic needs, or providing educational outreach to at-risk youth. For more information, visit

Good luck and we'll see you there!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Port Authority approves route and fare changes

Port Authority's Board voted today to approve route and fare changes under the Transit Development Plan (TDP), an intiative that aims to provide improved levels of service to the vast majority of riders.

Details on the route changes are available on our Web site, including a PowerPoint overview of the project, a detailed look at route-by-route changes and information about tweaks we made to the plan in response to public comments and union input.

The $2 base fare in Zone 1 will not change, and we have scaled back our initial proposal for Zone 2 to $2.75 -- previous TDP documents had set the fare at $3. This change was made in response to numerous comments from Zone 2 riders during the recent public comment period. Further details on fare changes are also available online.

The fare change takes effect on January 1, 2010.

Route hanges will be implemented in phases, targeting one area at a time, with the first round of changes set to take effect in the spring of 2010. We'll be working to make riders and the public aware of changes well in advance of their implementation.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Route revisions to the Transit Development Plan

Tomorrow, Port Authority's Board will vote on the proposed final Transit Development Plan, the result of more than two years of planning and the consideration of thousands of comments received at open houses and hearings, via the Internet and through other means.

Based on feedback from the public as well as bus and T operators, Port Authority planners have modified the plan presented on August 28. Here are the key changes proposed:

1A New KensingtonRoute shortened slightly to operate between Tarentum Park and Ride lot and Downtown Pittsburgh (as at present) instead of between Brackenridge and Downtown Pittsburgh to allow for more regularly scheduled service.
13G Thompson Run ExpressService previously recommended for elimination. Due to very strong support among riders and the union, now recommended for continuation but with changes to improve performance:
  • Straighter alignment to make service faster and discontinue unproductive segments.
  • One additional trip in AM peak and one additional trip in PM peak to conform with new service standards.
13K Marshall Express
In response to public input, shifted PM span of service from 3:15 pm-6:45 pm to 2:45 pm-6:15 pm to better match peak commute patterns.

17B Avalon/Shadeland
Shifted alignment from Lucerne Avenue to Jacks Run Road in Bellevue to avoid unworkable section of Lucerne Avenue.
21B KenmawrStraightened outer loop to improve directness.

33X West Busway
Adjusted midday intervals to 30 minutes to better coordinate routes 100 and 33X to alleviate bus overcrowding along the West Busway.

41E Mount Washington
Added service to Sweetbriar Apartments due to strong public support and ability to do so while maintaining efficient service.

43E Mt. Washington Express
Realigned to operate via Arlington Avenue to make service faster. Realignment also restores off-peak service to Arlington Avenue in Allentown.

46D Curry
Weekend service previously recommended for elimination. Weekend service reinstated due to anticipated demand and in response to union feedback.

51B Spencer/51D Churchview
Service along Churchview Avenue now provided by Route 51D previously recommended for elimination. In response to public and union input, service along Churchview now recommended to be provided by Route 51B in order to maintain service to an area that would otherwise be unserved.

54C North Side-Oakland-South Side
Previous recommendation called for elimination of route segment beyond E. Carson and and S. 9th streets. Due to strong public support and union feedback, service maintained to South Hills Junction and Bon Air, but with changes to improve directness and productivity.

55M Century III
Service frequencies improved from every 60 minutes to every 50 minutes.

56E Greenfield
Service shifted from short section of Murray Avenue to Greenfield Avenue to avoid delays. In Oakland, service shifted from Halket Street to Craft Avenue at request of East Liberty operators committee to avoid delays.

60B Jenny Lind
Alignment shifted to parallel streets in some locations to operate on wider streets and provide for easier turns.

63 Edgewood
At request of East Liberty operators committee, alignment shifted to Edgewood Avenue instead of Lloyd Avenue and Westmoreland Avenue to avoid a difficult turn.

64A East Liberty-Homestead
Changed peak frequency from 15 to 30 minutes to better match anticipated demand.

68D Braddock Hills Express
Discontinuation of deviation to Braddock Hills Shopping Center previously recommended. In response to public and union feedback, AM peak outbound, PM peak inbound and all off-peak service recommended to serve Braddock Hills Shopping Center and maintain service for area seniors.

68G Swisshelm Park Express
Alignment through Swisshelm Park and via Edgewood Towne Center revised at request of East Liberty operators committee to avoid difficult turns.

74A Homewood-Squirrel Hill
Shortened Squirrel Hill terminal loop to operate via Shady Avenue, Forbes Avenue, Murray Avenue, and Wilkins Avenue rather than Forbes Avenue, Shady Avenue, Beacon Street, Murray Avenue to avoid traffic congestion and delays.

74B Highland Park
Route deviation into Pittsburgh Zoo eliminated to improve directness and because access to zoo is available from One Wild Place.

75 Ellsworth (New Route)
Revised headways slightly to reflect updated running time estimates. Weekday midday service intervals changed from 30 minutes to 25 minutes, and weekday evening (after PM peak) changed from 30 minutes to 40 minutes.

77B Penn Hills
In response to public input, extended outer end service to CCAC-Boyce to maintain service between Penn Hills and CCAC-Boyce and to provide opportunity for Port Authority and CCAC Boyce to develop U-Pass program partnership.

77F Morningside-Friendship
Revised Saturday and Sunday headways slightly to reflect updated running time estimates. Service had been proposed to run every 60 minutes both weekend days; will be changed to every 45 minutes on Saturdays and every 80 minutes on Sundays.

81A Oak Hill
Service frequencies reduced to 30 minutes all day due to reassessment of demand due to improvements to other routes. Route will still offer an increase over current service.

81C Webster
Service frequencies reduced to 30 minutes all day due to reassessment of demand due to improvements to other routes. Route will still offer an increase over current service.

100 West Busway-Downtown
Adjusted peak intervals from 15 to 10 minutes to better coordinate Route 100 and 33X schedules to alleviate bus overcrowding on the West Busway.

47S South Hills Village via Overbrook
In response to union feedback, adjusted weekend headways to South Hills Village so that service is scheduled to run every 20 minutes as opposed to every 45 minutes.

Details on all routes are available on our Web site.

The Board meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the 5th floor Board room at 345 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. It is open to the public.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bus detours now in effect for Liberty/Stanwix intersection closure

More than 20 Port Authority bus route detours are now in effect due to the closure of the Liberty/Stanwix intersection. The changes also involve the relocation of several commonly-used bus stops.

The detours will be in place for about 1 year as Port Authority constructs a new Gateway T station. The new station will serve the North Shore Connector T line when it opens.

Affected bus routes include:

  • AV, AVN, 3L, 3M, 93A
  • B, OV
  • CO
  • R
  • 18B, 18C
  • 26E, 28E, 28M, 31D, 31E, 33D, 33E
  • 71A, 71C, 71D
  • 81A, 81B, 81C, LP
  • 100, 28K, 28X, 33X
For turn-by-turn rerouting, maps and a list of stops in service, visit the Port Authority Web site. Stop guide flyers are currently available at schedule racks and on buses.
Also effective today, one lane of Penn Avenue will reopen through Stanwix Street. Another lane of Penn Avenue will reopen in spring 2010.
The Gateway T station also is scheduled to shut down Oct. 31. The Wood Street T station is the closest light-rail alternative and is located about three blocks from the Gateway station.
Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A letter from Port Authority CEO Stephen G. Bland

This morning, many riders may have received flyers detailing changes to their bus routes. These flyers were not authorized by Port Authority of Allegheny County, and we believe they were created and distributed by a handful of disgruntled drivers.

Unfortunately, these flyers contained errors and misinformation regarding proposed changes to Port Authority routes under the Transit Development Plan. This likely caused concern among riders who received a flyer.

Changes to routes were presented falsely and a full explanation of improvements and alternatives was not offered. And contrary to information contained within the flyers, the Port Authority won’t be implementing any changes to service until at least Spring 2010.

Port Authority plans to reach out directly to those communities affected by the misinformation, and we apologize for any confusion that might have been created.

Moreover, we encourage all riders and community members to visit the Port Authority’s Transit Development Plan Web site at for accurate and detailed information regarding proposed changes to the system – changes that will overall result in faster, more efficient transit and better choices for the vast majority of riders.

We are always happy to answer specific questions about proposed changes and we are committed to helping individual riders identify the most convenient routes to meet their needs. Port Authority is ready to listen and assist at (412) 442-2000 or (412) 231-7007 for TTY service.

Thank you for your continued support.

Stephen G. Bland
Chief Executive Officer
Port Authority of Allegheny County