As with most large metropolitan areas, public transit is a key component of the city of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh transit system, known as Port Authority, is one of the largest in America. They run over 500 urban buses, ninety light rail buses, and unique to the Pittsburgh area, two inclines. With daily ridership being over 200,000 people a day, Pittsburgh’s public transit is still a growing service, with large expansions, such as the North Shore Connector, added just this past year.
The Port Authority system runs most of their buses in the downtown corridor of Pittsburgh. These buses help their citizens who live in the outlying areas of the city get to their workplaces without the need of taking their own cars; reducing downtown traffic. Many riders of these buses are students at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, which are both located downtown, and the Port Authority offers these students’ tickets at a discounted price.
The light rail and subway system, known as the T, runs to a number of areas further out of the cities landscape. The twenty-six mile system is split into three lines, which run all throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. One of the largest public transit projects in the city’s history, known as the North Shore Connector, opened in early 2013, which connected the light rail system to two new stations across the Allegheny River and onto the north shore of Pittsburgh.
The Incline System is a unique addition to the skyline of Pittsburgh, due to the topography of the surrounding land. Because the south shore runs along Mt. Washington, there is no quick way by road to get from the top of the mountain to the bottom. In 1870, Pittsburgh opened its first incline, which was engineered to run vertically from the top of the mountain down to the bottom. These inclines have been running for over 140 years, and are still a popular tourist destination as an urban planning marvel, as well as a convenient part of the Port Authority.
The future of public transit in Pittsburgh looks bright, as the increase of new riders continues to rise. With many other notable extensions expected to be added to the light rail and bus routes soon, many new riders should soon be able to enjoy the ride into the city without the hassle of driving.
Do you feel Pittsburgh's Public Transit systems adequately cover the city limits? Where do you feel that other routes should be added?
Credits: Images by Greg Shermeto. Data linked to sources.