Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Weather: What to Expect, Where to Get Information

Port Authority would like to remind its riders of resources for service information, as well as what to expect during winter weather events.

Routine Snowfall

In the case of routine snowfalls of a few inches – such as the snowfall experienced last week – Port Authority service typically operates normally, with all routes in service and serving their usual areas.

Since small amounts of snowfall are typical for Pittsburgh, Port Authority will generally not post special announcements during these times.

However, riders should be aware that slower traffic, reduced visibility and/or untreated, slick road surfaces may lead to some bus delays and should allow for extra travel time. Our drivers are committed to getting you to your destination as safely as possible.

During these times, Port Authority will operate on its normal Customer Service phone line schedule, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends and major holidays. 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.

Port Authority’s Twitter account will be staffed during its usual business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday). Please note that our Twitter account cannot provide route-specific information during routine snowfall, such as whether a particular route is running late and by how much.

Heavier Snowfall

In the case of heavier snow, Port Authority may issue general information about systemwide delays on its website/mobile site (under Rider Alerts), Twitter account and through local media (print, TV and radio). Riders are encouraged to check the website first.

Port Authority’s Twitter account will be monitored during its usual hours, but may post special announcements as needed.

If you are seeking route-specific information, please try dialing Customer Service during its normal hours.

During times of heavier snowfall, you may wish to head to a main road or park and ride lot to catch your bus. Generally, if your local road has not yet been cleared and appears to be difficult for drivers, you might consider this option.

Blizzard Conditions

In the case of a blizzard, Port Authority’s service is likely to see widespread disruptions, with many routes either suspended or serving limited areas.

During these major storm events, information will be posted on Port Authority’s website/mobile site (under Rider Alerts) and blog, and available through its Twitter account, which will hold extended hours on an as-needed basis. Riders are encouraged to check the website for information first.

This information will detail which areas are not being served due to extreme weather, or which routes are not operating at all. Please note that Port Authority’s Twitter account cannot give specific information on how late a particular route or trip might be delayed.

Customer Service will be open its normal hours during major snow events for rider assistance and information.

In very severe instances, Port Authority may even suspend service entirely due to safety concerns.  This information will be distributed to the local media (print, TV and radio), as well as posted on the website/mobile site and announced on Twitter.