Over on his blog, Pittsburgh Transit Guide, rider and Allegheny County Transit Council member Michael Sypolt is recounting his experiences trying some of Port Authority's new or changed routes:
"Hill District-Southside Service: The newly implemented 81 Oak Hill and 83 Webster are an improvement over the four routes that they replace (81A, 81C, 84A, and 84C). In addition, the routes are interlined downtown (meaning they change routes downtown). For example, an inbound 83 usually changes over to an outbound 81 and vice versa. If riding from Webster Avenue to Bentley Drive, changing buses is not required, however, you will have to show your pass or buy a transfer if the trip passes through downtown before 7pm. I have the experience of riding these routes from South Side to Oakland and is a good, quick alternative to the 54C if the 81 or 83 arrive sooner. This extension is a result of responding to a community need for the route to continue to serve a full service grocery store (i.e. Wharton Square Giant Eagle) since there is not one in the Hill District.
Oakland-Lawrenceville Service: I had tried out the 93 Lawrenceville-Oakland as an attempt to avoid having to stand with a large box. I was headed home during the peak of rush hour which would have required either a 71A or 500. When a 500 showed up at 5:12pm with no room, I crossed the street to take the 93 to transfer to an 87 to go home (Highland Park). While I was able to sit down, I was surprised at seeing almost 20 people on the bus! This was for good reason, it only took me about 10 to 12 minutes to get from Oakland to Shur-Save during the height of rush hour. Although the schedule states that is should only take 9 minutes, the actual time of 10-12 minutes is much better than 20 minutes on the 54C (according to its schedule)! While I would have liked to see the rest of the route, I had a large package to take home, so I transferred to the 87 at Howley and Gangwish after a 15 minute wait. While this trip was crowded (due to being late), I quickly got a seat within 5 minutes. I was in Highland Park by 5:55pm. Took slightly longer than if I got on the 500, but not by much, especially since it could have run slowly due to being overcrowded."
Read more at Michael's blog.