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.


  1. So basically you have done nothing. The buses have been large and that is part of the problem. Everyone has to unload and load at every single stop because the people go all the way down the aisle because it is too crowded!!!!!! This takes forever and adds to the 40 minute extra drive time for those on the last stops. If you actually add some buses at peak hours that would be a good step however, I will tell you from personal experience that I have caught the so-called "bigger bus" and it still passes up the later stop and makes you late in the morning and adds half an hour to your afternoon commute. And thanks for once again shafting the biggest stop on the route - that is carnegie...why can't we get a stop every five minutes? We have the most people and yet you think adding more G2 is going to solve the problem.

  2. Why don't you add the bendy buses on the busway? I think that would really help the overcrowding since it has twice the room and yet doesn't have the problems the previous poster added that people have to load and unload at every single stop adding significantly to the time it takes to get home. Just an idea!

  3. We will see if this actually helps. I also have ridden on the "bigger" buses and it just adds to the time and it still passes up people. Its not really a fix to the problem and Carnegie is still getting screwed. There is no one riding the G2 out to robinson and yet port authority won't fix the routes so that the hundreds that catch the bus in carnegie get fair service!

  4. It would be cool to have the double buses on the G1 route! that would really help with the overcrowding and more people could get a seat! It is one of the most crowded of the bus routes...why don't they consider that as an alternative way to help this situation?

  5. Can you say what times these extra routes will be? It would be much appreciated!!

  6. Are the extra routes specifically G1?? We don't need any more stupid G2 routes that leave the city half full because it doesn't service the last stops on the busway!

  7. There are two issues that come to mind as I read this. First, while you continue to remind us that this is the most services area on the busway, we must remind you that this is primarily a commuter busway. Every stop is a park-and-ride, and commuters from Washington and beyond come in from all over to use it. Typical neighborhood bus routes obviously do not have this kind of commuter traffic. Second, regarding neighborhood routes, why are we continuing to see buses in areas such as Bridgeville and the Noblestown Road area stop repeatedly at stops sometimes as close as 20 feet apart to drop off one or two people at every one of those stops, when may of those stops could be consolidated? While the West Busway continues to be sliced and diced, this issue appears to not be addressed.

  8. Amen to that. The commuters want to use the busway and before this "change" it was a pretty quick and easy way to get in and out of downtown during peak business hours. Now its a horrible mess and I'm still not sure from this article that Port Authority knows how bad it is. I haven't seen a single Port Authority person on the bus that's for sure so how are they monitoring this situation! Its kind of like they are telling the commuters to go screw themselves.

  9. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read. I'll jump in with a few quick responses that I can immediately answer:

    - Actually, there are a lot of people riding in from Robinson, which is part of the issue.

    - With regard to when any new buses would run, I don't have exact times yet. When I do, I'll post here and on Twitter. This is why you saw Port Authority employees out at the stations assessing the numbers of riders per time of day and the capacity of buses coming through. This info is helping us determine how to respond. Throwing buses at the busway won't help unless it's at the right times. And, yes, these would be G1.

    - Stop consolidation is an upcoming piece of our overall Transit Development Plan. We recognize that we have way too many stops and we will consolidate stops countywide. That will occur in a later phase with plenty of notice.

  10. I'll also note that several Port Authority managers have been to the West Busway, stood at the stations and waited for buses along with regular riders this week to assess the issue for themselves. This also has helped us in determining how to fix the issues.

  11. actually is bigger buses then it will be also full up very fast too.
    I have been on 61C bendy bus (articulate)last sept-dec from 840am and this tues & thurs bendy

  12. I have not seen a single Port Authority person actually ride the bus in or out though...and the biggest problem is the ride out right around 5:00 to 5:05 when most people get off work and there are just not enough buses to handle it. If they are just standing at a station they aren't really getting an accurate picture because they are seeing the crowds of people that the bus left downtown because it was too full.

  13. I waited to post a comment until I saw the changes that went into effect Friday. This was my experience today (Monday).

    In the morning, I got on the G2 at Crafton Station. We filled the bus, and we passed Ingram, Sheridan, and the Duquesne Incline on the way in.

    I left my desk at Gateway Center at 5:02. I knew that I had a snowball's chance in hell of catching a G1 or G2 at the Hilton, so I walked to 4th and Stanwix.

    5:10 - Arrived at stop
    5:12 - G1 passed, full
    5:27 - G2 passed, full
    5:34 - G1 passed, full
    5:35 - G2 passed, full
    5:40 - G1 picked us up. At this point the stop was so full that we completely filled an empty bus. We squeezed another few people on at the Hilton.

    5:59 - Arrived at Crafton station.

    My commute has more than doubled in time since the changes went into effect last Monday. We can't wait until June for some mysterious changes that will magically make things better.

    If things don't get better by the time my April bus pass expires, my husband and I are splitting a parking lease. It would actually cost us less than our bus passes, and it would take less than an hour to get from town to Crafton. I post this not as a threat but so that you are aware that people are making other plans for their commutes.

    I loved my commute on the 33X and 100. I swore I'd never drive to town. This redesign of the routes has made me change my mind.

  14. I attempted to ride the new G2 route to Oakland this morning for the first time, not realizing that the geniuses at Port Authority eliminated the stop at Carnegie...the stop with the largest Park and Ride. I was so angry that I stomped back to my car and drove in.

    I could almost understand the change from a cost savings perspective, if for instance, the route now started at Sheraden. But to start it at Bell Station and screw the riders in Carnegie? It makes my commute even more inconvenient and more costly since I am forced to buy a transfer to get from the G1 to the G2 bus, and my commute takes even longer now.

    Fine...nickel and dime us with transfers while making it more inconvenient in the process. You've lost this rider. I'd rather spend the extra $3.50 + gas and park in Oakland and cut my commute in half and work on my own schedule, and not having to worry about getting to Carnegie before the lot fills up. Extra sleep, shorter commute. Seems like a win-win for me.

  15. Yeah I haven't noticed a change at all with the so-called "extra" buses supposedly that were added to the G1. Still passing up stops at 5:00 to 5:30 on the way out. Somebody yesterday was handing out the names of the higher ups at Port Authority and people were emailing complaints directly. Maybe that will help the situation because NOTHING has been done so far. What times are these extra buses coming?!?!?! I think its a lie that was told to try and quell the revolt.

  16. I have heard so many people say that they loved the route until the changes. Why does Port Authority hate the commuters! We are your most loyal customers! Don't give us these patronizing posts that you are thinking of adding a bus or two to the route. We pay for your salaries not only with our passes but with our TAXES!! I've said it before, if you were a private company you would be run out of this town for the abyssmal service you provide.

  17. I catch the G2 Bus from Robinson which is GREAT...thanks....although that part is great, the inconvenient part is my son goes to St. Agnes school which is on Robinson Street in Oakland. Now that the G2 goes down Craft and up Forbes my son and I have to either walk 2 blocks to Robinson street or get off in Oakland and transfer to another bus that discharges at Craft Avenue....this has become such a time consuming problem...not to mention when I get him from school we have to walk two blocks back up the street and literally 2 G2's always pass us. And what is the reason it goes back up Forbes Avenue....that puts us in Oakland for another 20-25 minutes. If they feel a need to go back through Oakland, why don't they loop around like the EBO does and go back up 5th Avenue on the busway..less traffic and that would get us downtown quicker..not understanding why the 28K or 28X can't go back up Forbes.....that's alot of time down Fifth, up Forbes and to Robinson! Please re-consider NOT GOING BACK UP FORBES and stopping on Craft Avenue! Would be a great help and convenience. Thanks!

  18. While there are of course going to be some issues that need to be fixed, I think the Port Authority should be commended from trying to revive the transit system and attract new riders.
    That being said, I do have some comments.
    -The rapid transit routes such as the "T" and the busways, should have more frequent service than they do.
    If these rapid transit routes are really suppose be the backbone of the system, than they should have frequent service at all times of the day, which means never having to wait more than 15 minutes no matter what time of day or day of the week.

    On that note, I have to say, the service levels on the "T" are very dismal outside of rush hours, and for being a light rail system, the service should be a lot better. One hour service on weekends to Library, and service only every 30 minutes on weekday evenings to Mount Lebanon and Castle Shannon, etc. That is not good service for a rapid transit route.

  19. The service on the G2 from Robinson is great. However, there is not a park and ride at the mall and the people who park at Ikea or across the street in the Robinson Towne Centre lot are being harassed by the management company who are threatening to tow their cars. I realize that real estate is at a premium but can't someone come up with a place that people can park w/o someone getting ticked off. You would think the business in the area would welcome the people who if they need something will stop to shop but they don't want the cars taking up their spaces. I talked to the management company who insist they are going to start towing and no one has a solution