Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sunday: Marathon Detours, Plus a Pens & Pitt Reminder

Three major events are scheduled for Sunday, May 2: the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, a Pittsburgh Penguins playoff game at Mellon Arena and the University of Pittsburgh commencement at the Petersen Events Center.

We encourage all riders to allow for plenty of extra time when traveling Sunday.

Nearly 60 Port Authority bus routes will be detoured with temporary stop changes during the Pittsburgh Marathon, beginning with start of service until the conclusion of the race, which organizers estimate will take place between 1:30-2 p.m.

The University of Pittsburgh commencement and Penguins game also start at 2 p.m.

This means anyone using Port Authority service on Sunday may experience a midday change in schedules, routes and stops. The following information should help guide riders using public transportation on Sunday.

In general, the T and busway routes will offer the most direct transit service into Downtown throughout the day and also offer riders the ability to take advantage of outlying Park and Ride locations -
click here for a map.

T service: The
Red Line and Blue Line-South Hills Village routes offer trips every half hour on Sunday from 5:30 a.m. until nearly 1 a.m. (early Monday morning). During the race, a 'Local Shuttle' will operate between South Hills Junction and Wood Street Station. Please note that the Gateway Station remains closed due to construction. After the race, the shuttle will not operate and T routes will resume normal Sunday schedules.

East Busway: The
EBA runs about every 15-20 minutes on Sunday from about 5:15 a.m. until 12:45 a.m. (early Monday morning).

  • During the race, the EBA will serve Grant Street in both directions (see this brochure for details).
  • After the race, the EBA will resume its Downtown route -- from the busway, buses travel along Liberty, turn onto the Smithfield Street bus lane, turn onto Seventh Ave., turn onto Grant and back to the busway.
West Busway: The G1 and G2 routes each run hourly on Sunday from about 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.

  • During the race, the G1 and G2 will run on Grant Street, following the detour detailed in this brochure. Please Note: The G1 detour as printed in the brochure is incorrect. The inbound G1 will not use the West End Bridge to access Downtown, since the bridge is part of the marathon course and will be closed Sunday morning. Instead, the G1 will access Downtown via the Fort Pitt Bridge.
  • After the race, the G1 and G2 will return to serving Smithfield Street in both directions (bus lane carries outbound buses).

The following information provides more specific information about the detours and service levels on Sunday, May 2, especially during the Pittsburgh Marathon. Brochures are available at schedule racks or by using the following links:

North routes: Will terminate on the North Side at Cedar and Suismon near Allegheny General Hospital. A shuttle bus will run between there and Ross Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, every 15 minutes. Transfers are free.

West/South routes
: Will terminate at South Hills Junction along the T, where riders can transfer for free to the Red and Blue lines.

East routes
: Most buses will terminate at the Ross Street stop between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Also, a shuttle will operate between Oakland and Squirrel Hill (see next listing).

Oakland-Squirrel Hill
: Since there will be very limited transit service into Oakland during the race, Port Authority will operate a special shuttle between Oakland and Squirrel Hill for free, allowing connections for 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D and 67A routes, which will detour around the heart of Oakland. The shuttle will operate between Beacon and Murdoch streets in Squirrel Hill and Sennott Street and Oakland Avenue in Oakland. The regular 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D and 67A routes essentially will bypass the Fifth-Forbes corridor in Oakland during the race.

G1, G2 and EBA
: will travel through Downtown using Grant Street in both directions.

Airport Flyer service
: Most Downtown and West Carson Street stops temporarily will be discontinued through the race on the 28X Airport Flyer, which now runs direct between the city and Pittsburgh International Airport.

  • Inbound (to Oakland): Will stop at Grant opposite Oliver, then runs via Sixth Ave., Forbes, Jumonville, Fifth, N. Bellefield, Bayard and Amberson.
  • Outbound (to airport): From Amberson to Morewood, Bayard, Bigelow, Fifth, Grant Street and then to West Busway. Downtown stops outbound are Grant at Strawberry Way and Grant opposite Oliver (Steel Plaza T Station).

If you're riding Sunday and have any questions, the Customer Service phone line will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 412-442-2000, or for TTY 412-231-7007.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Route Changes Coming June 13

Note: These changes do not include further scheduling adjustments or tweaks to routes that were already changed in April (the G2 or 28X, for example). Any adjustments to those routes will be announced separately prior to June 13.

Changes on the following 26 bus routes will go in effect on Sunday, June 13:

  • 6B Spring Hill
  • 11E Fineview
  • 13G Thompson Run Express
  • 13U North Hills-Oakland Express
  • 16F City View
  • 28K Moon Express
  • 41B Bower Hill
  • 44U Mt. Lebanon-Oakland
  • 46F Baldwin Highlands
  • 46G Elizabeth
  • 51A Arlington Heights
  • 51C Carrick
  • 53F Homestead-Lincoln Place
  • 55M Century III Mall
  • 56B Hazelwood
  • 56C McKeesport-Lincoln Place
  • 67A Monroeville
  • 67F Trafford
  • 67H Squirrel Hill
  • 68D Braddock Hills Express
  • 79D Mount Carmel
  • 86A East Hills
  • 86B Frankstown
  • E Elizabeth Flyer
  • HP Holiday Park Flyer
  • LP Lincoln Park Flyer

A brochure offering brief summaries of the changes is now available online by clicking here (link opens PDF file). This brochure will soon be available in hard copy at major schedule rack locations over the next week or two.

On May 5, we’ll post the routes’ new schedules (including maps) on our website and paper schedules will be available by mid-May. We’ll also be loading the new schedules into our Trip Planner so riders can make travel plans for June 13 and beyond.

We'll be sure to announce the release of this additional information here, on
our Twitter feed and at If you’d like, you can also sign up to receive email notification of upcoming route changes.

This list encompasses routes that have not yet been altered per the Transit Development Plan. June will also bring some tweaks to routes that were already changed during our first round in April; we will announce those tweaks in the near future. More route changes will follow in September.

If you have specific TDP-related questions, please use
this form and a member of our staff will contact you. You may also call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY 412-231-7007, or try us on Twitter at PGHtransit.

If you leave a question in the comment form on this blog, we will try our best to answer. Please note that a high volume of questions on this blog may make it difficult for us to answer each question individually.

Monday, April 26, 2010

East Busway Repaving Set for Late Spring

Starting in late May/early June, Port Authority will begin rebuilding a large portion -- almost seven miles -- of the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway between Wilkinsburg Station and Downtown.

Work will include repaving, which will help prevent wear-and-tear on our buses and also provide a much smoother commute for the many riders who travel the East Busway each day -- approximately 25,000, about equal to the number of daily T riders.

To minimize interruptions and delays, work will be conducted in sections and opposite the dominant flow of traffic. That means we'll be working on the outbound side during the morning rush and on the inbound side when most riders are headed home in the afternoon.

We aim to have work completed by the end of this year.

This rebuilding project spans the length of the original busway, which opened in 1983. The section between Wilkinsburg and Swissvale stations is newer -- having opened in 2003 -- and therefore doesn't need to be rebuilt.

We'll let everyone know when work officially begins, so be sure to check back with us next month.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Take the Earth Day Challenge

President Obama is calling on all Americans to help make their communities greener and healthier this Earth Day, April 22.

There are many things you can do to take action on Earth Day, including choosing public transit. Across the country, public transportation reduces carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually – equivalent to the electricity used by 4.9 million households. And over a year, transit use saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline.

If you normally commute in your car, try our Trip Planner or Google Maps to see if there’s transit available along your route. Or check out our Park and Ride map for options near you. You also might consider trying an Earth-friendly intermodal commute – combining public transit, biking and/or walking.

Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you may already make your regular commute to work or school on the bus or T. But you might consider taking transit for other purposes. Let’s say you live in Shadyside and want to go to the movies. Instead of going by car, you could try the new 75 Ellsworth route to SouthSide Works.

Want to know what your carbon reduction will be if you take public transit? Check out the American Public Transportation Association’s Carbon Savings Calculator.

There are lots of other ideas for Earth Day activities – including volunteer opportunities – at and lots more information on the benefits of transit on our Web site.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

West Busway Schedule Adjustments

We understand that the recent changes involving the G1 and G2 routes have not been smooth for many riders along the West Busway. We are making some changes now and in June that should help.

We have added larger coach buses to some G1 trips and are looking to supplement schedule times to improve capacity during the rush hours. Some of these changes are being made now and others will start next week.

Also, we have worked with our operators to ensure riders are served at Bell Station where we experienced some confusion last week due to a clerical error.

In mid-June, more improvements will be made.

28X Airport Flyer: Riders will be able to use the 28X Airport Flyer between the West Busway and the city - either Downtown or Oakland. The 28X will serve busway stops (except Carnegie Station) as it runs between Pittsburgh International Airport and the city.

G1 West Busway: We will increase trip frequencies during critical portions of the morning and afternoon rush hours. During those hours, the G1 will run every five minutes rather than every 10 minutes. Those changes will occur between:
  • Morning commute: From about 6:45 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. on weekdays from Carnegie Station into Downtown.
  • Afternoon commute: From about 4:35 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays from Downtown to all West Busway stops, including Carnegie Station.
28K Moon Express (which will become the G3 in June): Serves West Busway stations inbound-only except Carnegie. The G3 will not stop to drop off customers on the West Busway heading outbound.

As you might know, we made changes to nearly 60 routes on April 4th and most have been successful, including the more direct 28X Airport Flyer, the new 75 Ellsworth and the T light rail system.

Ultimately, any temporary inconveniences on the West Busway will be resolved.

I’d also note that some of the comments made via this blog have been helpful. A few offered very specific information about the situation that helped planners in addressing the matter.

Thank you for your patience.

Friday, April 9, 2010

West Busway & TDP Route Changes

To our riders,

We understand there have been some issues on the West Busway with the G1 and G2 routes. We’re making a couple of changes that should help the situation. Riders may have noticed some improvement Friday morning.

These changes increase capacity so that riders do not have to wait long and are not repeatedly passed up.

Specifically, the immediate changes include operating some G1 trips with larger buses to offer more seats and also adding an extra trip or two during peak hours. We're working with our operators to make sure riders are served at Bell Station, where we realize there has been some confusion due to a clerical error on our part.

Thanks to the drivers of our West Busway routes, we’re working through the issues to ensure riders do not continue to suffer.

Other changes will come in June that should improve West Busway service. We're days from being able to detail some of those changes and will post those here early next week.

We assure you that this is a priority and our employees are working diligently to ensure the G1 and G2 routes function as intended.

We apologize for the inconveniences you might have experienced through the last few days.

The West Busway is part of the backbone of Port Authority's system and we desire to have high levels of service for our riders in this corridor.

The TDP is changing how we serve the busway, but it will continue to offer trips every five minutes during peak periods (except at Carnegie Station where the G1 runs every 10 minutes during peak periods). Bus service is offered roughly 20 hours a day on the West Busway.

Very few areas in Western Pennsylvania have this level of transit service.

Overall, we're pleased with the route changes across Allegheny County that started Sunday, April 4.

Changes to some of our busiest routes have gone without much difficulty, including the 16D (now the 18 Manchester), the 28X Airport Flyer and the T.

The 28X Airport Flyer now connects the city's Oakland and Downtown directly with Pittsburgh International Airport.

The new 75 Ellsworth Route links the city's South Side, Oakland, Shadyside and East Liberty neighborhoods, including the SouthSide Works and Bakery Square.

There have been a few bumps along the way and we have been addressing each.

For example, we found an overcrowding issue on the P10 Allegheny Valley Flyer. This has been resolved by ensuring we stick with the larger coach buses.

And, because the P10 no longer stops at the bus shelter at the Tarentum Park and Ride, we're relocating the shelter to the area where riders now wait for the bus. This will occur in the next couple of weeks.

Also, on the P7 McKeesport Flyer, we will address an overcrowding issue by using a larger articulated bus (the type that "bends" in the middle) on at least one peak trip that will add capacity.

Now that these issues are being resolved, we are focused on the next round of changes coming in mid-June. We'll release the details of those changes in early May -- in just a few weeks.
And, when those changes occur, we'll address any issues that arise then too.

Remember, we're making these route changes for good reasons. The changes will put Port Authority in a better position to maintain service, attract new riders and maximize state funding levels. If we don't make the changes, we risk losing financially in the long run, which only would lead to the risk of route cuts.

The threat of route cuts exists even today as the status of state transit financing is uncertain because the plan to toll Interstate 80 was rejected. We stand behind those leaders who now wish to ensure Pennsylvania has a reliable and equitable transportation funding law in place. These financial matters will be discussed statewide over the next few months and we'll certainly be making our riders aware of any local impacts.

So, stay tuned. Next week, we'll be able to spell out more changes coming in June for our West Busway riders. In a few more weeks, we'll be able to release the complete list of June route changes with complete details available on the site.

And, again, thanks to everyone for hanging in there.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Route Changes: A Few Last Reminders

The first round of Transit Development Plan route changes will go into effect on Sunday, April 4. Most of you have probably already checked to see if your routes are changing (if you haven’t yet, click here) and have grabbed copies of the new schedules.

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind next week:

Downtown Routing & Detours

Routes that are changing will keep their Downtown Pittsburgh routing and any existing detours will carry over.

For example, if you normally ride the 100 West Busway-Oakland, you’ll be using the same Downtown stops you currently use to ride the new G2 West Busway-Oakland. The detour affecting service on Seventh Avenue between Smithfield and William Penn Place, for example, will still be in effect and will carry over to the new route.

Detours outside of Downtown will also carry over where applicable, such as the Saxonburg Boulevard detour, which will carry over from D Middle Road Flyer to the new P11 Middle Road Flyer.

Streamlined Downtown circulation is part of the Transit Development Plan, but won’t be put into effect for some time, likely after all routes see changes.

Please keep in mind that the new hand schedules show each route's permanent stops. Detours override these stops where applicable.

Customer Service & Twitter

Customer Service will hold its regular hours on Sunday, April 4 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and Monday, April 5 (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Because we anticipate greater than normal call volume on these days, we recommend that riders call ahead of time with their questions if possible.

Port Authority’s Twitter feed will hold its regular weekday-only hours, monitoring the feed Monday, April 5 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Park and Ride Lots

If your route is changing and you’re looking for options, be sure to check out the
Park and Ride information on our Web site.