Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Red Line Detours Sept. 1-2, Holiday Service in Effect for Labor Day

Rail maintenance will detour Port Authority’s Red Line on Saturday, September 1 and Sunday, September 2. Additionally, bus, T and inclines will use holiday schedules on Monday, September 3 for Labor Day, including special schedules for the T (PDF).

On Saturday from start of service until about 9 p.m., the outbound Red Line will detour via Overbrook (along the Blue Line’s routing) from South Hills Junction to Willow/Overbrook Junction. Bus shuttles will provide outbound-only service to stops from Station Square to Potomac and a local light rail shuttle will operate outbound from Potomac to Overbrook Junction. Inbound Red Line service will be regular route.

Then beginning at about 9 p.m. Saturday, the Red Line will be detoured in both directions until the end of service on Sunday, with detoured service, bus shuttles and local rail shuttles operating as outlined above, except serving both inbound and outbound stops. Regular routing is expected to resume by start of service on Labor Day. 

View the map below for more information.

View Red Line Detour: Sept. 1-2 in a larger map

For motorists, parts of Broadway Ave. will be closed to through traffic at various times during the rail work. Additionally, parking will be prohibited on the southbound side of Broadway between Neeld Ave. and Fallowfield Ave. on Saturday, and on the northbound side of that section on Sunday.

Then on Labor Day, about 30 different bus routes will detour Downtown due to the annual holiday parade. View detour information.

For questions, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000, or for TTY 412-231-7007.

Port Authority’s Customer Service phone line is open on Labor Day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Downtown Service Center will be closed for the holiday and the Authority's Twitter account will not be staffed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Digest: Friday August 24, 2012

The U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a year-long pilot program in Ann Arbor, MI for a new anti-crash traffic system. Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses will be connected with Wi-Fi technology which will enable the vehicles to communicate in real time. Vehicles will send electronic data messages to other equipped vehicles, which can alert drivers about upcoming traffic accidents, dangerous intersections or even when a vehicle is changing lanes in their blind spot. This cutting edge technology aims to improve driver safety and make for more efficient driving. Ford, General Motors, Honda and Nissan were among some of the companies that contributed resources and vehicles to the project. Read more at Metro Magazine.

This week, a life-size Charlie was roaming the streets of Boston. Promoting the MBTA’s CharlieCard, the mascot was raising awareness of the benefits of the smartcard system as well as informing riders of the new CharlieCard store in Downtown Crossing Station.  The Charlie character is based on the 1949 song ‘M.T.A’ that was used by a candidate in Boston’s mayoral election campaign that year. That year riders were charged an extra nickel to exit trains at above ground stops, so the ‘M.T.A’ song depicted Charlie riding the Boston subway system for life because he couldn’t afford the extra nickel. Charlie will be appearing at major landmarks this week on his promotional tour, such as the State House, Swan Boats and Fenway Park. Learn more at

London is looking to implement new security measures when it comes to their Underground and National Rail system. The Home Office, which oversees issues of terrorism and crime, is considering screening passengers and their belongings before boarding. This screening technology would detect explosives and weapons, as well as chemical materials. Research showed that riders are open to the screening process, however they do not want these check point to cause delays in their journey. The Home Office expects to make a decision on the new screening process and determine what technology they will use by next March. Read more at The Guardian.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Transit Cuts Postponed for One Year

State, County, Union and Port Authority Reaffirm Need for Long-Term Solution
Port Authority's Board of Directors today voted in a special meeting to postpone the planned 35-percent service reduction until at least August 31, 2013, following the ratification of a new labor contract with Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 85. This gives state and Allegheny County officials more time to develop a long-term transportation funding strategy.

Following the special Board meeting, a press conference was held with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch, ATU Local 85 President Steve Palonis and Port Authority CEO Steve Bland.

View the statement released by the County Executive’s office regarding today’s Board actions and future steps needed to preserve public transportation in Allegheny County, including details on additional funding from the county. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Special Board Meeting on August 21

Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Board of Directors will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held in the Neal H. Holmes Board Room, 345 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The purpose of the meeting is for the Board to consider actions relative to Port Authority’s Fiscal Year 2013 operating budget, pending service reductions and Port Authority’s collective bargaining agreement with Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Friday Digest: August 17, 2012

The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBTA) has announced the testing of their countdown signs for the subway. Starting this past Wednesday, the MBTA began testing the Red Line countdown sign in South Station and will eventually roll out the countdown signs to the other 51 Red, Orange and Blue Line stations.  Positioned in the subway platforms and station lobbies, these signs will tell riders how many minutes until their train will arrives. Having the signs in station lobbies lets riders know how long they have to wait before they pay their fare, which gives them the option to wait or come back later.  Read more at the Boston Globe.

There are high hopes in Texas for a new rail system by 2020. The proposed high-speed rail would link Dallas – Fort Worth and Houston in less than 90 minutes. Although the project is gaining buzz and the company planning the system says it will not ask for public financing, the people of Texas are worried about the impending costs of this operation. The Texas Central High-Speed Railway seems very confident about their plan, having teamed up with the successful Central Japan Railway Company. They say the relatively flat land between North Texas and Houston makes this project more feasible than other locations like the Northeast or California. Learn more at the Texas Tribune.

This week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) took bike connections to a new level by approving $9.4 million to fund 23 new projects. These projects will add new bike lanes and trails; build bridges and crossings for bikers as well as improved signs and bike racks. Bikes have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation and advocates say it is important that safety measures be implemented. Agencies competed for these grants through OCTA’s Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program, which was developed as a part of the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.   Read more at

Downtown/Strip District Race Detours Buses Friday

Nearly 50 Port Authority bus routes will detour in Downtown Pittsburgh and the Strip District tomorrow evening due to the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile race.

The race will close Liberty Avenue in its entirety from Stanwix Street to Grant Street, as well as close Liberty’s inbound lanes from Twenty-second  Street to Grant Street. Detours will be in effect from approximately 6:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Riders should allow for extra travel time during the detour. Details on temporary bus stop changes are posted at

For more information, riders may contact Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weekend Closure for Allegheny & North Side Stations

Port Authority will close its light rail system in the North Shore this weekend in order to continue a system-wide rail grinding project. Substitute bus service will be provided during the closure.

Beginning Friday, August 17 at 8:00 pm and ending Sunday, August 19 at 8:00 am, the T will be closed at Allegheny Station and North Side Station.

Riders headed to the North Shore must exit the T at Gateway Station to catch a bus shuttle to stops outside Allegheny and North Side stations. Buses will pick up outside Gateway at Stanwix Street past Penn Avenue, serve North Side and Allegheny stations, then return to Gateway. Regular T service is expected to resume well in advance of Sunday’s Steelers game.

This weekend’s rail work is part of a larger project to correct wear-and-tear on the older sections of the rail, and in the case of the new North Shore section, further fine-tune the rail’s profile to ensure smoother service.

For more information, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Digest: August 10, 2012

The University of Nevada has announced its goal to establish a research center for high speed rail. The XpressWest project is currently underway, which would make Nevada the first state in the country to have high speed rail, but the proposed International High Speed Rail Institute would create new opportunities for high speed rail throughout the country. Researchers would look at the different weather extremes, for example, including how the desert and dust environment could affect the high speed rail, or in other parts of the country, how snow and blizzards would affect it. Tom Skancke, one of the backers of this university program, believes that the U.S has more challenges than Europe and Asia because of these weather conditions. These challenges, he believes, make it necessary to set up an institute and explore how to overcome these obstacles. Learn more at Vegas Inc.

Cedar Park, Texas, which previously opted out of Austin’s Capital Metro’s service area, has come up with a new transportation solution. A new ride-sharing social media initiative is in the works, where users would login to a website and post timeframes when they’d be available to give rides or dates when they needed rides. This community transportation network has raised some concern with residents about posting information about when they will be out of their house, as well as the fact that many residents do not have internet access. In 2010 Cedar Park voted against a pilot program in which Capital Metro would bring two stops to the city. In light of this, city council wanted the new transit proposal to put public transportation in the hands of the residents and aims to create a self-reliant transit network. Read more at

TriMet has launched their new multimodal trip planner, which incorporates information for transit, biking and walking all in one itinerary, offering users a variety of options and encouraging all forms of transportation. There is also a street map that is continually updated with the latest bike and walking paths, as well as car-share locations to incorporate Zipcars and other car-share providers. Last year a pilot version was tested, and with feedback from riders TriMet has launched a live version for the public. This is the first agency-produced trip planner in the U.S that uses multiple methods of transportation. Read more at Metro Magazine.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Digest: August 3, 2012

Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has become the newest member of the smart card club by joining the TAP system. TAP is the regional smart card system in Los Angeles County, and LADOT will be the 12th transit operator to join this area system. LADOT’s addition will make Los Angeles the largest regional smart card operation in the country. Riders will be able to travel a great number of destinations, all while using one card. If you haven’t heard, here at Port Authority we are also implementing a smart card. In the next few months you will be hearing more about our ‘ConnectCard’ smart card and how you can use it. For now, you can read more about the Los Angeles TAP card at

In addition to distracted drivers, there are now distracted pedestrians on the roads. With the latest technology wave, more people are looking down at their cell phones and tablets rather than looking up at the traffic signs and oncoming cars. This is becoming a major concern across the country, and many transit agencies are actively trying to avoid pedestrian accidents by implementing safety campaigns. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is launching a public safety campaign after a fatal accident last year in which a young man stumbled onto their train track. Across the U.S, the Utah Transit Authority adopted a new regulation that prohibited pedestrians from using cell phones and headphone while crossing their light rail tracks, although this rule did not expand across the state.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that 1,152 people were treated in emergency rooms last year for injuries obtained while walking and using an electronic device. . Read more at The Washington Post.

Have you ever put a bag on the seat next to you or stretched out your legs to avoid a stranger sitting next to you?  If you haven’t done it, then I guarantee you’ve seen it happen. For some reason people are uncomfortable and go to great lengths to avoid sitting by strangers. Esther Kim from Yale University has been conducting a study on this behavior for the past 3 years, examining the unspoken rules of commuters. After many bus trips, Kim came to the conclusion that if there were other seats available, the implied rule was you shouldn’t sit next to someone else. There are certain behaviors people engage in to avoid others, such as checking their phones or putting in headphones. Kim’s ultimate conclusion is that lack of healthy interactions with others could  lead to a breakdown of our society. Read more at Live Science.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

T Closed in Downtown/North Shore This Weekend

Port Authority will close its light rail system in Downtown and the North Shore this weekend in order to conduct rail work. Substitute bus service will be provided during the closure. The T will be closed beyond First Avenue Station all day Saturday and Sunday. Riders traveling inbound, for example, must get off the T at First Avenue Station, then transfer to free bus shuttles outside the station. Bus shuttles will operate in both directions to stops outside all remaining Downtown/North Shore stations. Riders using Blue-Library this weekend should also be aware of separate work detouring that service south of Lytle Station. For complete details, visit or call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Library T Service & Local Traffic Detoured in Bethel Park This Weekend

Port Authority will replace the rail crossing at Bethel Park’s West Library Station this weekend, detouring T service and impacting local auto traffic. Detours will be in effect from Friday, August 3 at 7 p.m. until about 4:30 a.m. on Monday, August 6.

During this time, Blue Line-Library service will terminate at Lytle, where riders may transfer to shuttle buses operating between Lytle and Library. A map of shuttle bus stops is posted below.

View Library Line Detour - Aug. 3-5 in a larger map

Riders should allow for extra time when traveling. Regular T service should be restored before the start of morning service on August 6.

Additionally, Route 88 (Library Road) will be closed near the Clifton Road intersection during this time. Auto traffic in both directions will be affected and motorists should follow posted detour signs, which will direct traffic via Clifton, McMurray and South Park roads.

The West Library Park and Ride lot remains closed until Monday, August 13, as Port Authority crews use the lot to prepare, store equipment and conduct cleanup work for the rail crossing project. Riders who normally drive to the station may seek alternate parking at Library, Lytle or South Hills Village.

For more information, call Customer Service at 412-442-2000 or for TTY, 412-231-7007.