Monday, May 23, 2011

May News

Starting Sunday, June 12, 2011, The Port Authority of Allegheny County will adjusts schedules for 19 bus and T routes. Although lack of proper funding forced the Port Authority to reduce service by 15% on March 27th, in an effort to improve service the following route schedules will be revised:

6 Spring Hill: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 8 Perrysville: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 13 Bellevue: The last seven weekday evening trips will operate 10 minutes later. The affected trips will now arrive Downtown at 6:25 p.m. and extend to 12:25 a.m.
16 Brighton: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 44 Knoxville: School trips (marked with an “S” or “T” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 48 Arlington: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 51 Carrick: School trips (marked with an “H,” “P” or “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. More trips will end at Brentwood Loop, reducing service frequency to Caste Village and Brentwood Towne Square from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes. Trip times adjusted.
61A Wilkinsburg via Forbes Ave: Some weekday inbound trip times will be adjusted between Wilkinsburg and Forbes at Braddock.
74 Homewood-Squirrel Hill: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. 78 Oakmont: One weekday evening outbound trip will be added; trip will leave Wilkinsburg Station at 7:46 p.m. 82 Lincoln: School trips (marked with an “S” on the schedule) are discontinued for the summer. Some evening trip times adjusted.
87 Friendship: Some weekday trip times adjusted. 91 Butler Street: Some trips will now end at Old Freeport and Freeport roads rather than ending at the VA Hospital. Weekday midday service will now operate every 18 minutes. Numerous trip times adjusted on weekdays and Saturdays.
G2 West Busway-All Stops: Trip times adjusted. Headways adjusted for consistency. On weekdays G2 will now operate every 10-20 minutes during early morning, every five minutes during peak periods, every 10 minutes between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., every 20 minutes midday and every 30 minutes in the evening.
G31 Bridgeville Flyer: Trip times adjusted. O12 McKnight Flyer: Adding two morning inbound trips to help with overcrowding. The trips will arrive Downtown at 7:35 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
P1 East Busway-All Stops: Weekday schedule revised with trips added during various periods to address overcrowding. Round trips leaving Downtown between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. will operate 10 minutes later, and a round trip has been added to arrive/leave Downtown at 12:40 a.m. On Saturdays, a 12:35 a.m. round trip will be added. Some minor inbound trip time adjustments will be made on Saturdays in the early a.m. and late p.m., and throughout the day on Sundays.
P2 East Busway-Short: Additional trips added to address overcrowding. Trip time adjustments. Red Line: On Saturdays, all service after 9:00 p.m. will now operate every 30 minutes. Saturday service will also be extended, with the last train leaving Downtown at 12:40 a.m. Service frequency will change on Sundays. From start of service until 11:00 a.m., service will operate every 35 minutes; from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., every 20 minutes; from 5:00 p.m. to last trip, every 35 minutes.

The first phase of the new ConnectCard fare system started today:

Port Authority has completed installation of new fareboxes on buses and rail vehicles and says it has overcome the problems that twice halted the project.
The next step in the run-up to a new high-tech fare collection system begins Monday, when 300 University of Pittsburgh staffers and students begin field-testing the system, to be followed by the entire Pitt faculty, staff and student body in the fall.
Read more in the Post-Gazette.

By the end of the week we will be able to offer you more details on the new experience from the perspective of the riders who enrolled in the testing phase. So, do remember to return for updates.

John Weinhold Memorial

And last but not least, we want to remind you that this Saturday, May 28th , there will be a memorial service in honor of long-term ACTC member John Weinhold at the Beechview Memorial parklet at Broadway and Shiras Avenues. More information on:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Transit and Multimodal Solutions (2)

South Side-
sidewalk repairs are completed in a way that both pedestrian flow and vehicle traffic are maintained.

What I like most about Derrick's rider story is the way it highlights a different perspective on riding transit. The storyteller is not exclusively a transit rider, he is equally a car driver, cyclist and pedestrian. His choices are not motivated by personal finances or commitment to a cleaner, more social mean or transportation - but by pragmatism. Because depending on the goals of each urban dweller there is a transportation service or another that will fulfill the customer's needs best. Sometimes is driving a car, sometimes is riding transit - and sometimes is the ability to walk to your destination safely on a designated pedestrian pathway.

South Side is one of the city neighborhoods where people can choose freely between different transportation modes without having to get out of their way - such as walking a mile unsafely on the side of the road or cycling among inattentive drivers. But South Side is one of the few neighborhoods ,where one can access a diversity of transportation means. There are several city neighborhoods where one or more of these options may not be as easily available, and that is without even counting most suburban areas which are in fact the areas where most Pittsburghers live. [1]

And the reason why, sometimes, there is no access to all the transportation means mentioned above in city neighborhoods, is n the initial car-oriented design of the local infrastructure as in the case of suburban areas. The reason is our misunderstanding of the real value that multimodal transportation options do hold in urban areas. "And our priorities are so skewed that , even in the old city neighborhoods where pedestrian pathways survived the last six decades, we tend to ignore the fact that their role is not ornamental but quite pragmatic."


[1] According to the Census 2010 data, only about 20% of Allegheny County Residents live in the city of Pittsburgh. The remaining 80% are living in the 130 suburban municipalities that are part of the county.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transit and Multimodal Solutions -A rider story about the benefits of access to diverse mode of transportation

The following story is not only about riding transit and its shortfalls and benefits as experienced by the storyteller. Instead of choosing on transportation mode or another, this storyteller decided to combine the options that were available to him to maximize the benefits.
When one has different transportation options available, one can become more productive and efficient than when that same person had just one option. If he (or she) had to drive to get to the truck’s pick up point , he (or she) would’ve had to deal with more traffic issues and also pay for parking while loading the bricks and driving the truck. The way Derrick did it –combining riding transit, driving truck and riding his bike home – saved him time and money. And his free brick-load deal, got even better:

"One of the great local resources available to the person wishing to save money is the Freecycle list. When a couple pallets of bricks were offered, I took the opportunity to collect them. This entailed a trip to North Washington Township, Westmoreland County, and would require a truck. As a Zipcar member I have trucks at my disposal, so I reserved onefor as long as it was available the next day. This meant going to Oakland to collect the truck, then heading on to get the bricks, returning home and unloading, and returning the truck. The 75 Ellsworth bus begins a few short blocks from my house, and dropped me across from my Zipcar. About 15 minutes before my reservation was to start, the previous driver returned it, so I took the free extra few minutes as Zipcar allows, and departed.

The trip out of the city was simple. Loading the bricks by hand was tedious,and I loaded about a ton. Then I drove back into the city on the Parkway East, an experience which is often as it was that afternoon quite unpleasant. Upon reaching the end of my street, I moved my car,which had been left to reserve the space I'd need to unload, and reversed the process I'd done over an hour earlier, again using my hands to transport the bricks.

In order to get home more quickly, my bike was deposited in the truck, and a short drive later, the Zipcar truck was awaiting its next driver, and I was bicycling home. I am multimodal. I use the tools at mydisposal to optimize my trips, saving both time and money. You can, too. Be aware of your options, and use them as best you can. "

Derrick B. works as a software developer for a local company. He lives with his wife in their South Side home.