PRT’s Bus Network Redesign is a Big Deal and Here’s How to Weigh In

image description: a blue, yellow and white graphic with a bus logo in the top left corner. It shares the zoom meeting info for the PRT bus network redesign meeting on April 16 from 5:30-7:00 pm, and says that meeting video and materials will be posted on the project website.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation process of rewriting the transit network through their “Bus Line Redesign” project. This is a BIG DEAL.

This is a big deal because it will decide what communities the bus network will serve, how frequently the buses will run, and at what times of day and week– for a very long time. If you have ideas about how transit service should be changed to serve different communities or at different times, or have ideas about what transit service is working well (!) then you should weigh in!

How to Get Involved: 

  1. Come to PRT’s Bus Line Redesign meeting tonight, April 16th from 5:30-7:00 pm online on Zoom. Register for that meeting here: https://engage.rideprt.org/buslineredesign/bus-line-redesign-public-meeting-3 
  1. Check out PRT’s website, where they share a lot of really interesting and valuable data about how our transit system works and who it serves (and doesn’t serve). They also share the data and feedback received in in-person outreach and through their online survey in the first round of engagement this Fall. You can find that information here (and take a good look at the documents and links towards the bottom of the page): https://engage.rideprt.org/buslineredesign/buslineredesign-home 
  1. Uplift our call for PRT to develop a  “visionary” transit network during this Bus Network Redesign– an expansion plan for transit service, rather than just putting forward “cost-neutral” transit service alternatives. In the last 20 years, 37% of our total transit service in the region has been cut, and that has resulted in fewer routes, less frequent service, and service that runs for a shorter time span everyday. If PRT just develops a  “cost-neutral” transit service plan, they will end up taking away the limited service that remains in some communities to add to others– and we’re tired of negotiating for crumbs! Everyone in Allegheny County deserves access to baseline quality transit service as a human right. With a plan for service expansion, our elected leaders and the public can get behind the fight for making it real.

What We’re Seeing:

We want to give lots of credit to Pittsburgh Regional Transit for doing such a deep analysis of the current system, and sharing this excellent data identifying trends with post-pandemic ridership.  We also want to give some big ups to PRT for holding a lot of in-person feedback sessions in communities around the County, and for soliciting feedback from transit operators, who are experts in the system.

Broadly, we agree that there should be more neighborhood connections and crosstown routes, and shifting service to better serve off-peak hours and weekends rather than concentrating service  9-5 pm downtown commuters. We strongly agree with PRT’s work identifying and prioritizing communities that are currently underserved but have a higher likelihood of taking transit if it’s provided.

A few areas of concern that we see:

  • We want to know what specific metrics are going to define success for this bus line redesign. For instance, will the new transit network yield increased ridership overall and fewer car drivers, expanded access to jobs (ie. a 15% increase in the number of jobs within a 30 min transit commute of Northview Heights), more satisfied transit riders, reductions in transportation emissions in the County, or shorter commute times for marginalized communities to access critical services like hospitals and grocery stores? PRT’s website has project goals like “simplify the bus network” and “ensure that the bus network continues to promote safety,” which feel too abstract to be able to evaluate the success of the network redesign. Those particular project goals may also yield outcomes harmful to riders.
  • Riders cannot wait until a new network is implemented to have reliable schedules. Unreliable schedules are due to bad scheduling, not issues with the route design. PRT needs to provide adequate run time for transit operators to be able to get to the stops when they are scheduled. If PRT cannot fix this issue with the current schedule, with all of the real-time data that they have on route timing, then it will not be fixed with the new bus network design, either. It is worth noting that transit operators again raised this issue in their feedback.
  • The online survey results for the first round of public engagement are not representative of public transit rider demographics, and so the results of that survey should be reviewed with a grain of salt. PRT does a good job breaking down the demographic data in the appendix, but it is important to read the report with an understanding that the data overrepresents higher income white women.  

There is a lot more for the public to unpack in the information that is shared on the PRT website and in the online public meeting, and that’s why we need you! 

  1. Come to PRT’s Bus Line Redesign meeting tonight, April 16th from 5:30-7:00 pm online on Zoom. Register for that meeting here: https://engage.rideprt.org/buslineredesign/bus-line-redesign-public-meeting-3 
  1. Don’t forget to check out PRT’s website, where they share a lot of really interesting and valuable data here: https://engage.rideprt.org/buslineredesign/buslineredesign-home 
  1. And uplift our call for PRT to develop a  “visionary” transit network during this Bus Network Redesign– an expansion plan for transit service, rather than just putting forward “cost-neutral” transit service alternatives. We want frequent service AND service that runs to all our communities. We want buses that run early in the morning to get us to church, and buses that run late to bring us home from our second shift at the hospital. Transit riders are not going to negotiate against each other, because all of our needs are important. 

We want to hear from you! What do you see as needs in the upcoming Bus Line Redesign?

Let Pittsburgh Regional Transit know your thoughts at http://buslineredesign.com.

PPT’s Spring Training Has Us Blooming New Skills & We Want You to Join Us!

Red graphic with yellow, off white and black writing, flowers, our PPT logo and a yellow bus image. Three circle frame pictures appear in the middle of the graphic.

PPT’s Spring Training for organizers and activists will build new skills & grow our organizer family. Share your ideas for workshops and training topics + reserve your spot at the May 4th training by RSVP’ing today!

Its springtime! And the perfect time to kick our transit just organizing up a notch by honing our existing skills, introducing new ones, and growing the network of leaders doing this work. PPT is hosting a day-long training on May 4th to do just that. AND WE WANT YOU INVOLVED!

Our 2024 PPT Organizer/Activist Spring Training will hold workshops, panels, speakers, discussions and fun social time to grow our network’s skills and build the intersectional movement for justice that we’re involved in.  So far, proposed topics include:

  • Affordable housing and transit, what’s the connection and opportunity?
  • Disability Justice and making public transit actually accessible
  • Public Speaking: how to talk about transit in a way that inspires
  • Data for transit justice: how research can grow our campaigns
  • And more!

Do you have ideas for topics that we should cover during the May 4 training? Fill out this survey to help us build the agenda.


We will gather at Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House for the day-long training on Saturday, May 4th from 9am-3pm. To wrap up, we will spend some social time together getting to know each other because relationships are the core of movement work and we value our time spent with you.

Accessibility information: Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House is an accessible location with an entrance ramp to the bottom level, and first floor level of the building. There are two accessible bathrooms, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor level. There is a large meeting room on the ground level and several rooms where workshops, panels, and activities will be taking place.

Getting there: Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House is located at 4836 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, on the 75, 71A, and 71B bus routes. The 75 lets you off at Ellsworth and Clyde, with a one minute walk to our location. The 71A lets you off at Centre Ave. and Millville Ave. with an eight minute walk to our location. The 71B lets you off at Fifth Ave. and Neville St. with a four minute walk to our location. If any of these transportation modes are cost-prohibitive for you, contact PPT to discuss options, at 551-206-3320 or info@pittsburghforpublictransit.org.

Covid procedures: Masks are encouraged indoors. We also encourage everyone to take an at-home COVID rapid test before arriving. Please stay home if you are feeling sick or have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19. There is outdoor patio and large porch out in the front of the building.

Save your spot by RSVP’ing to join us on May 4th, 9-3pm at the Friends Meeting House 4836 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh PA, 15213

Digitally what? Digitally organize! Meet Daeja Baker, PPT’s New Digital Organizer.

Daeja with curly yellow hair, glasses, facial piercings and earrings, wearing a light yellow dress, standing in front of blurred out buildings and grass

Meet Daeja, newest member of PPT and our first digital organizer!

We’ve hired a digital organizer! PPT is growing its organizational capacity bringing its staff from four to five. Daeja has organized in Pittsburgh for 15 years and founded Pittsburgh Feminists for Intersectionality in 2017, a base that she has used to organize across several issues— racial justice, disability justice, justice for those in the carceral system and housing justice, all through the lens of intersectionality. Throughout the last few years Daeja has worked as a communications and event director for several campaigns, welcoming in a fresh legislative perspective to her work. We are excited to bring Daeja’s organizing, political and communications skills into the fold at PPT to strengthen our membership base, grow our digital presence, and grow our work statewide. 

Now is the time. Why is now the time? We are in a growth moment here at PPT. With this new role we can reach so many more people in our community and bring them into this growing movement without skipping a beat! With this new role we can focus more on building relationships in our community and turning that into growth in our membership. We can use the tools we have at our disposal more effectively to stimulate that growth. We can refine and strengthen our organizing with more capacity to use these tools throughout our work. PPT is doing so many great things with our members and board and we want YOU to hear about it and JOIN US! This is the way we do it.

Learn more about Daeja in her own words…

What is a girl to do when she’s been organizing for fifteen years? Try something new, of course! I’m the first to admit that I have a lot to learn about advocating for better transit in our county, but one thing I do know is my ability to advocate for intersectional issues. Here at PPT we know that transit is about housing, it’s about class struggle, it’s about food justice, and it’s about equity in all of these things and more. In my time as an organizer I’ve advocated for many things that I know can get better, and transit is no different. It can get better. It will get better. I am here to be a part of that journey. 

Some questions that may help you get to know me:

Who do you consider yourself to be? 

To most I am a poet, an organizer and a bipolar girl telling her story for change. To myself, I’m just discovering how not to be lost with everybody else.

What is your organizing passion point? 

This is a tough one! I’d say I spend a lot of time organizing at the intersections of radical mental health and racial justice. This includes justice for our unhoused, those in the carceral system, our youth, and so many of us disabled folks who are unseen due to invisible illnesses and conditions. 

Would you rather listen to music, a podcast, or public radio?

While I chose this question I think it is unfair. I am a complex person. 

To work: music 

To cook/clean: music or podcast

To think: public radio

To have an existential crisis: all three on shuffle so I don’t see it coming

Sweet or savory?

Savory, always.

What is your favorite vacation?

My secret cabin in a small town a couple of hours away. I read, write, hike, kayak and drink champagne in the hot tub. I also try a new coffee shop every time — but I only like one grocery store! I love water.

What is your theory of change? 

Another unfair question. My short answer: we are only powerless if we do nothing. 

Cats, dogs, or snails? 

I love but am allergic to cats. I cannot take care of a dog, I promise you. I love a good snail. 

Hot or cold?

I would live on the equator with a bathing suit on. 

Most recent achievements?

I won a thumb war with a teenager. 

More about Daeja

Daeja grew up in Pittsburgh’s Northside, in what is now known as the Perry South neighborhood. Her family did not own a car and her mother often carted her and her three brothers onto the bus to grocery shop, go to the movies, doctors appointments, and frankly any other reason a person would have to leave the house daily. As a teenager Daeja took two buses to get to work, often waking up over an hour early and arriving an hour early to work due to the lack of buses running in the evening and on weekends. This has shaped how Daeja has viewed transit—until she moved to other major metropolitan areas that have robust transit systems. Daeja believes that we, too, can have a robust transit system that supports workers, our unhoused, our disabled, those who do not have the ability or privilege to drive, our elderly population, our youth—everyone.

 Follow us on social media! Daeja and her comrades at PPT will update you about PPT often!