Jan 292016

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Super Stop

PPT community organizer, Molly Nichols, called in to Essential Pittsburgh to discuss the new super stop at Smithfield and 6th downtown. PPT would to thank Mayor Peduto and Envision Downtown for looking out for the 6,500 riders that use this stop everyday.

New Transit App Allows Real Time Tracking Of Port Authority Buses

Nichols was also featured on KDKA tv news to help spread information about real time technology that can help improve the experience of everyday transit users. Services like Port Authority’s TrueTime and the Transit App are available free to all riders.

Jan 252016


Campaign to Encourage Transit Riders’ Use of Real Time Technology

Pittsburgh, PA – January 25, 2016 – Pittsburghers for Public Transit is organizing a series of Downtown canvassing days to spread awareness of real time services available to transit riders. In the cold winter months waiting for a bus can be increasingly grueling. Port Authority TrueTime services and independent real time apps make getting through the winter easier than ever! PPT plans to engage directly with riders at downtown bus stops and cross town bus lines to spread information about how to access these services through Port Authority, the Transit App, and Tiramisu.

We’ll be canvassing Monday Jan 25th from 3-6 pm and Tuesday Jan 25th from 3-6 pm. Folks will meet at the Smithfield and Sixth “Superstop.”

Port Authority’s Truetime services are highlighted on their website and include online and call functions. Port Authority is also developing a texting feature that will allow riders to find out when their bus is coming with one text. PPT will also work to help riders use the Transit App (http://transitapp.com), an independent service that allows users to track when their bus will arrive, access full route schedules, and view connecting lines.

PPT hopes to improve the experience of current riders and to inspire new ridership by increasing awareness of real time technology that can save time and keep riders out of the cold.

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Jan 192016

Don’t forget to register for the Summit Against Racism! Join us on Saturday 1/23 for a full day of discussion and learning.

We are participating in a panel at 230 pm, on “Building Equitable Communities: Strategies for Tenant and Community Organizing.”

Long Hall, Pgh Theological Seminary, Room 216 -Track – Housing
SESSION BLOCK 3 – 2:35pm – 4:05pm

PPT is committed to ensuring that there is affordable housing near transit lines and amenities.

Let us know if you plan to attend so you can get the group rate (10 dollars/person). Email casy@pittsburghforpublictransit.org


Check out the results of the Make My Trip Count Survey!

Nearly 35% of people use public transit to get to work and that number would be even higher if we included trips for other purposes. Let’s continue to ensure there are adequate transit options for everyone.

tranportation Infographic

Jan 132016

Port Authority proposed a new fare policy that includes reducing the Zone 2 fare from 3.75 to 2.50. This is great news! Other details of the proposal are here and here.

These are our initial responses, which will be refined over the next few weeks. The public comment period lasts for 60 days and we hope riders come out to tell Port Authority what they think! More details on dates and times to follow.

We have one of the highest base fares in the country, and public transit riders should not pay any more for transit than we currently do. If anything, we should pay less.

  • We support reducing the zone 2 fare from 3.75 to 2.50, especially for the benefit of low-income suburban riders.
  • We are opposed to cash surcharges, but we do encourage riders to use connect cards.
  • Routes designed as feeders (for example, the 79 and the 89) should have free transfers to the main routes.
  • If Port Authority has to enact a fee for connect cards in order to put them in the ticket vending machines, the charge should be as low as possible. But the cards should still be free at the service center downtown, Giant Eagle locations, etc.
  • We support weekly and monthly passes for those who are eligible for the half-fare. These riders currently have to pay for each ride to get the reduced fare.

Tell Port Authority what you think!

Jan 112016

Please join PPT at the Summit Against Racism on Sat Jan 23! It will be a day filled with great workshops starting at 8am. PPT is committed to ensuring that there is affordable housing near transit lines and amenities. We are participating in a panel at 230 pm, on “Building Equitable Communities: Strategies for Tenant and Community Organizing.”

Let us know if you plan to attend the summit so we can get the group rate (10 dollars/person). Email casy@pittsburghforpublictransit.org
Session description:

As development comes to historically disinvested neighborhoods will existing residents benefit or be priced out? What can be done to avoid displacement, preserve and expand Pittsburgh’s racial diversity, and ensure that the wealth generated through higher property values stays in the community?

Presenters will share models for equitable neighborhood revitalization and outline policies and initiatives to: preserve and expand affordable housing for low-moderate income families and individuals; secure greater tenant and community rights; ensure expanded access to public transportation for low income communities; and mandate democratic, community control of development in our neighborhoods.
Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences with these issues and to discuss ways that they can become more involved in the fight for equitable housing, expanded public transit, and community and economic development that benefits all people living in impacted communities.
Ronell Guy is a founding member and Executive Director of the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing.
Alethea Sims is Director of the Coalition of Organized Residents of East Liberty.
Carl RedwoodJr. Is a Pittsburgh community organizer who lives in the Hill District.
Molly Nichols is Community Organizer for Pittsburghers for Public Transit.
Bob Damewood is staff attorney for the statewide Regional Housing Legal Services, Pittsburgh office.
Zoe Mizuho, Facilitator, is a founding member of the Community Land Trust Working Group and a resident of Wilkinsburg.
Dec 092015

Pittsburghers for Public Transit has many questions about the proposed transit project, which would provide a connection between Oakland and Hazelwood. Jonah McAllister-Erickson, along with a few other PPT members, attended the public meeting about the project on December 7th. Here is his report of the evening, along with the questions we posed:

A standing room only crowd of at least 100 community members questioned city planning officials and councilperson Corey O’Connor about the proposed transit link between the ALMONO development in Hazelwood and Oakland, which would run through the neighborhoods of Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow, including the Junction Hollow Trail and park lands that connect the two communities.  Much of the initial outcry from both the community and Councilperson O’Connor was about the lack of previous communication about the proposed project. Attendees, both elected officials and community members, were outraged that they first heard about the project through a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The evening started with a presentation from city planning director Ray Gastil that laid out a few different possible configurations for the proposed transit connector, with either a 12’ or 24’ right of way through Junction Hollow, which would use the current bike and pedestrian trail, and would therefore require bike and pedestrian paths to be shifted to the other side of the park next to the railroad tracks.

Possible benefits of the project include the construction of a pedestrian and bike bridge across the railroad tracks connecting the Junction Hollow trail to Panther Hollow lake, the restoration of the stream that historically ran through the park, and other storm water runoff management measures intended to prevent flooding that periodically inundates the Run. In one of the scenarios presented, an extension of the bike and transit only right-of-ways went all the way through Panther Hollow to (or at least near) the intersection of South Neville and 5th Avenue in Oakland.

Virtually all of the community members who spoke at the meeting opposed the proposed plan. The number one concern raised was the need for a permanent solution to storm water runoff and flooding, something the neighborhoods of Four Mile Run and Panther Hollow have been advocating for several years.

The next biggest concern raised was changing the character of the Junction Hollow Trail and park lands–from a quite green space to a much busier thoroughfare to Oakland. Community members mentioned the crumbling infrastructure in Panther Hollow and the Run, and the concern that running as many as 96 mini-buses through the neighborhood would only exacerbate existing problems. Others worried the connection would turn the neighborhood into a virtual park and ride for commuters working in Oakland.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit asked the following questions about the project.

Question: Private Road? What does that mean? Would the city actually own the road, and does private access mean it is a limited access road?

Is this going to be a private transit service?  And was the Port Authority asked about ways to provide additional or enhanced service between the 2nd avenue corridor that the proposed connection would serve? If yes, what did they say?  If no, why not?

Answer: The road would be a public right of way, and by private we mean limited access.  Who would provide the eventual service is an open question; it could be a private entity, or a non-profit, or the Port Authority.

Q: Have the labor market implications of using autonomous vehicles been studied? If so, what were the results. The grant application mentioned job creation as one of its benefits; it seems to me that having driver-less vehicles is the opposite of job creation.

A: No answer.

Q: Why is the projected ridership so small; 250 people/day is low for a transit project. For comparison, the 93 carries over 1,000 people a day, and a similar connector route the 89 hauls 400 passengers a day. It seems like a very large infrastructure expenditure to provide very little service.

A: They hope that as the service exists they will see increased ridership.

Q: How will the service be paid for

A: We are studying various options, but how the service would be paid for has yet to be determined.

PPT is also concerned about any development that happens near quality transit options. We insist that residential development include adequate affordable housing for both current residents in a neighborhood as well as low-income residents who would like to live in a place with good transit options.

Additional coverage of the proposed Hazelwood connector can be found here:




Nov 232015

Dozens of transit riders and community members came out to speak and to stand together in the fight for better bus service. Many testimonies and heartfelt accounts were given about the lack of service and its effect on individuals from all walks of life. Groups from Penn Hills, Garfield, and Perry Highway came out in support of transit improvements in their neighborhoods and for all those who need it.


The event garnered a large amount of media attention and was covered by WPXI, WTAE, the Post-Gazette, WESA, and KDKA:

Dozens rally Downtown in push for expanded bus service in North Hills, East End

Group urges Port Authority of Allegheny County to fund more transit routes

Port Authority continues to hear pleas for expanded bus service

Suburban residents fill Port Authority meeting to max capacity, demanding bus service additions

Riders rally downtown for more Port Authority bus service

Port Authority Board Hears Resident Requests

Rally Calls For Increased Port Authority Bus Service

Highlights from speakers:

Ken Love (Penn Hills): I see young single mothers walking with their little kids, struggling to keep their kids safe, and then struggling to come back with 3 or 4 bags.

Annie Howard (Perry Highway): Today we alluded to a possible trend in less ridership, which I find strange, because there is a whole room of people behind me that are clamoring for service.

Del Royce Tatum (Garfield) : I would like to invite you to a weekend adventure in Garfield heights, we will go shopping, maybe the movies if you like. Please understand our plight, we have no cars, or a bus to get there. We have the 89 running Monday through Friday. But on the weekends we have nothing. We buy monthly bus passes just like everybody else, but we don’t have monthly service. You have been robbing us of our monies and are freedoms, because we don’t have bus service on the weekend.





Nov 182015

Come out  Friday Nov 20th at 8:30 am outside of the Wood St. T-Station for our Bus Riders Unite for Service Rally!

Join transit riders, workers, and residents as we call for adequate transit service in Garfield, Penn Hills, North Hills and all communities that need it. We will be on our way to the Port Authority board to file our requests for service. But it doesn’t stop there. Let’s make sure that elected officials and the public are aware of our needs! We are uniting to get the transit service we need.

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Click here for a flier.