Thursday, February 23, 2012

T Free Fare Zone Extended to Allegheny Station Thanks to Deal with Steelers & Rivers Casino

A funding agreement between the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rivers Casino and Port Authority – brokered by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald – will provide free rides on the T light rail system between Downtown Pittsburgh and Allegheny Station.

The three-year agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Rivers Casino will extend the T’s Free Fare Zone to Allegheny Station when it opens on March 25. The light rail vehicle (LRV) station is located near Heinz Field and Rivers Casino on the North Shore.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was instrumental in bringing the parties together.

“We appreciate the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Rivers Casino stepping up and providing service to the Allegheny Station,” Fitzgerald said. “This Free Fare Zone provides easy access to Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino, but also extends our downtown to the North Side where residents and visitors can get to locations including the Community College of Allegheny County and the Carnegie Science Center.”

“The Steelers are happy to participate in the partnership that will bring the free LRV ride to the Allegheny Station on the North Shore,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “The LRV service to the North Shore will assist all the North Shore/North Side communities to continue to build on the momentum and progress that is reshaping the North Shore of Pittsburgh.”

“The North Shore is truly an entertainment destination for residents and visitors,” said Craig Clark, general manager of Rivers Casino. “Rivers is proud to help make transportation easy and accessible.”

This is the second recent funding agreement to extend the T’s Free Fare Zone, which traditionally covered the Golden Triangle portion of Downtown. A similar agreement in December between Port Authority and the Stadium Authority of the City of Pittsburgh provided funding to extend the T’s Free Fare Zone to North Side Station.

Now, combined, the two agreements ensure both new T stations on the North Shore will fall within Port Authority’s Free Fare Zone.

“This agreement brings a tremendous level of transit service to the ever-growing North Shore, providing new opportunities to commuters, students and those heading for a little fun at the game or casino,” said Steve Bland, CEO of Port Authority.

“Expanding the T’s Free Fare Zone to Allegheny and North Side stations stretches the borders of Downtown Pittsburgh and creates a strong connection to current and future development in the North Shore. In addition, easier access to parking facilities on the North Shore will provide Downtown workers, students, and visitors with even more parking options so they can get into the Golden Triangle for work, or to enjoy Downtown’s many unique amenities,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President/CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Both T stations are due to open March 25 with the start of light rail service on the subway extension. The extension carries the existing 25-mile T light-rail system into the North Shore.