Saturday, October 23, 2010

A rider's story.‏ Brookline TDP. Story 4

The Two Sides of Brookline

The eastern side has the Port Authority South Busway running alongside SR 51/Saw Mill Run Blvd.
Prior to TDP, we had two primary routes along the entire length of the South Busway. The 46F Baldwin Highlands and the 46G Elizabeth. The first ran every 50 minutes during the day, and the other ran every there were times they would run on top of each other, and then you'd have to wait 40 minutes for the next set to ride through. There was also the Overbrook line, and East Brookline has a stop called South Bank. During the day, the 47L Library via Overbrook would come through every 30 minutes or so, and the 47S South Hills Village via Overbrook would operate during rush hour. The Port Authority did play around here and there and made the 47S run more, but it seemed like every year or so, there was a major overhaul.
After the TDP, the 46F was changed into the Y49 Prospect Flyer and the 46G became the Y46 Elizabeth Flyer in June 2010. The Y46 runs every half hour, and the Y49 runs hourly and was scheduled half way between two Y46. In September, the Port Authority changed the 46D in to the Y47, and the BR Brentwood Flyer along with the 46B Baldwin Manor and the BM Baldwin Manor into the Y45. With the addition of the Y47, riders along the South Busway now have an even 15 minute headway. It is something that I was working on for quite some time to have such a standard headway. The 47L and 47S Light Rail (aka The "T") was renamed Blue Line - Library and Blue Line - South Hills Village, both running once every half hour...15 minutes apart from one another. The Library acts as a shuttle only between Library, PA and Washington Jct, and numerous riders are unhappy about it.
On the other side of Brookline we had the 41B Bower Hill, 41D Brookline, 41G Dormont and 44U Mt. Lebanon-Oakland.
After the TDP ,the 41B Bower Hill is now the 41 Bower Hill, the 41D is still the 41D but will be changed into the 39 Brookline, the 41G has become a feeder route called the 35 and does not service the northern part of Dormont nor Brookline at all. And the 44U became the 42.
When you hear of Brookline, most people think about the 41D and 41G, which both serviced a primary residential thoroughfare, Pioneer Avenue. The Port Authority yanked the 41G and made the southernmost portion into the 35 Sunset Hills, a feeder route for the Y45, Blue Line, 41/42 and Red Line. Sadly, they didn't take into consideration that the 41G handled half the peak ridership of Pioneer Avenue and by yanking it, it was going to cause the overcrowding on the 41D as it has. This has made the news...
However, a lot of neighbors are telling me they are still getting passed up.
Also, the 41D and 41G use to combine as the 41D/G Brookline-Dormont route in the evenings. A skeleton evening service left downtown Pittsburgh as late as 11:40 to help those get home during the evenings. I have always been an outspoken advocate for those who work the 3p-11p shift, and unfortunately after the TDP changes, without the 11:40p trip, people who work those shifts aren't able to get home.

So, for East Brookline riders who use the South Busway (now also called the Yellow Line), the TDP made positive changes. However, a lot of people in the main part of Brookline have had some pretty negative results from the TDP. People who are misfortunate enough to board outbound at either Station Square or South Hills Jct have found themselves waiting a while for a bus with an open seat. And, many riders of the 41D and former 41G are getting stranded and find themselves walking a lot more. Either to/from West Liberty Avenue up and down hills that are about 45 degrees or to the Red Line Trolley Line, sometimes a half mile or more hike.

Samuel J Hurst, a Brookline Resident and Republican Committeeman, has worked with ACTC since 2002. A long time supporter of Family and Transit, he has worked with such groups as Save Our Transit and Fathers 4 Justice. He remains very passionate about the importance of family...and a comprehensive transit/transportation system.

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