Big changes are slated to start October 1st. Learn more in the blog and sign up to make your voice heard.
Throughout the year, PRT makes a number of “service adjustments” to routes throughout the system. These service adjustments are typically minor changes to accommodate for things like construction detours or a stop relocation. But sometimes there are some more major changes included in this list. Ideally, these adjustments allow PRT to make the schedules as reliabile as possible, but unfortunately, that isn’t often the result.
The agency announces these changes on their website and social media, but many times riders are left in the dark about ow their schedules are shifting. To try to promote these changes, and translate what they will mean for riders, PPT has been teaming up with the volunteer-run @PGH_Bus_Info_Hotline since 2019 to publish these blogs.
Here’s some information on what changes are slated for October 1st and opportunities to speak up to make your voice heard.
The biggest issues that riders have with this round of changes are those proposed for the 61D, 71A, 71C, and 71D. These routes will stop servicing Uptown and Downtown, which means riders will lose direct access to homes, hospitals and schools and cash riders will need to pay double.
There are major changes being proposed for the 61D, 71A, 71C, and 71D. These buses will turn around in Oakland and no longer service downtown. PPT and rider advocates have said a lot about these changes since they were announced mid-August. The primary concern about cutting these routes in Oakland means that inbound riders will lose direct access resources in Uptown (like the hospitals and universities), and outbound riders who live in Uptown will lose access to grocery stores and everything else in Oakland, the East End, and Squirrell Hill. Moreover, introducing a mandatory transfer on these routes will mean DOUBLE fare for those paying with cash, and a big uncertainty for any riders transit trip (which is especially hard for riders with mobility impairments). For our rundown of the concerns that we’ve heard about these changes check out this blog.
But there are also a number of other changes slated for this round that could have a big impact for riders. We continue to have issues with how the changes are communicated on PRT’s website. For many changes, PRT just types “Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed”, which sometimes are small shifts that riders won’t notice but sometimes are big changes that reshape riders lives (like the 77 losing a significant amount of weekend evening service in this set of changes). If you are impacted by these changes, we encourage you to share your story with us on our Transit Trouble form, because we need to get organized so we can advocate for improvements.
Reverse the cuts! Take action by signing the petition to PRT. We want a rapid transit plan that brings more access, not less.
About this blog series with the @PGH_Bus_Info Hotline
The @PGH_Bus_Info Hotline is a volunteer-run twitter account that gives riders adjustments on PRT’s daily happenings. The Hotline has no official connection to the PRT (again, it is a volunteer-run twitter account) but the adjustments they provide are helpful nonetheless. The Hotline is a big supporter of PPT, and an enormous advocate for public transit. We’re thankful for their support and happy to collab on these rider resources. Follow @PGH_Bus_Info Hotline on twitter for more grassroots transit adjustments.
About how to read this blog
We take the list of service changes listed on PRT’s website and break them into three categories based on what they mean for riders; “The Good”, “The Bad (The Missed Opportunities)”, “The middle of the road… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”.
For each change you’ll see the text and link that the PRT uses to describe each change, with a link to the new schedule. This is copy/pasted from PRT’s website…
- … then below this text, you’ll see this bulleted text. These portions are comments from PPT and the @PGH_Bus_Info Hotline on what these changes mean for riders and our system. You can check PRT’s website to follow these service changes.
Let’s get started.
A Summary of PRT’s Service Changes slated for October 1, 2023
61A-North Braddock – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Sunday midday frequency increased to 30 minutes from 35 minutes.
- Increased service is good for those who use these lines. Though we don’t like seeing it come at the expense of the service cuts that are being made as part of the BRT implementation. And the forced transfers make transit less convenient and more unpredictable in terms of travel time. This same comment can be said for the changes being made to the 61B, 71B, 82, 87, P1, P7.
61B-Braddock-Swissvale – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Sunday midday frequency increased to 30 minutes from 35 minutes.
71B-Highland Park – Additional weekday and weekend trip times have been added and some trip times have changed.
82-Lincoln – Frequency increased to 16 minutes from 20 minutes during the morning and evening peak hours.
87-Friendship – Additional weekday trips have been added and some weekday and weekend trip times have changed.
P1-East Busway-All Stops – Additional weekday trips have been added and some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Frequency increased to 8 minutes from 12 minutes during the morning and evening peak hours.
P7-McKeesport Flyer – An additional trip was added to the weekday morning and evening peak, increasing frequency to 25 minutes from 30 minutes.
The bad (the missed opportunities)
The 61D-Murray will stop servicing Uptown and Downtown. It will turn around at Robinson Street, turn right onto Craft, and left onto Forbes Avenue. It will be renamed 61D-Murray Short. Additionally, some weekday and weekend trip times are changing. Sunday mid-day frequency will decrease to 30 minutes from 20 minutes.
- This change makes it harder for people to ride transit because it forces transfers (which makes transit more unpredictable and increases travel time) and it forces double fares for peopel who are paying in cash. And we say this same comment for the 71A, 71C, and 71D changes that are being proposed this round too. You can read details about why riders are against these changes here. More than 100 riders came out the PRT’s meeting last week to speak up, and we’re rallying again on 9/29 before PRT’s board meeting to call for improvements, not cuts: RSVP here to join us.
The 71C-Point Breeze will stop servicing Uptown and Downtown. It will turn around at Robinson Street and travel outbound in the contraflow lane on Fifth Avenue. It will be renamed the 71C-Point Breeze Short. Additionally, some weekday and weekend trip times have changed.
The 71D-Hamilton will stop servicing Uptown and Downtown. It will turn around at Robinson Street and travel outbound in the contraflow lane on Fifth Avenue. It will be renamed the 71D-Hamilton Short. Additionally, some weekday and weekend trip times have changed.
To streamline and condense schedules, some bus stops have been removed from the online and paper schedules. Those stops will continue to be served.
- Removing times from the schedules makes it harder for people to use transit. We issued this statement on the subject of timepoint removal earlier this year when they started taking them off the schedule, and we still stand by it. PRT should make it easier, not harder, for people to understand how to use the system.
61C-McKeesport-Homestead – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Sunday morning and evening frequency decreased to 45 minutes from 40 minutes.
- Service is again being decreased on the 61Cs. The 61Cs have lost a considerable amount of service the start of the pandemic.
2-Mount Royal – The Grant Avenue Bridge detour via Evergreen Road has been made permanent and incorporated into schedules.
|Inbound stops Discontinued for 2-Mount Royal||Outbound stops Discontinued for 2-Mount Royal|
|North at Elizabeth (Stop #1140)||Grant at #114 (Stop #1201)|
|North at Freemont (Stop #1141)||Grant at Sheridan (Stop #1202)|
|North at Grant (Stop #1142)||Grant at Sherman (Stop #1203)|
|Grant at Black (Stop #22613)||Grant at Black (Stop #1204)|
|Grant at Sherman (Stop #1144)||Grant at North (Stop #1205)|
|Grant opp School (Stop #1145)||North at Lincoln (Stop #1206)|
|Grant at E. Ohio (Stop #1146)||North at Elizabeth (Stop #1207)|
|North at Klopfer (Stop #1208)|
- The situation in Millvale is not good for transit riders or the community. The 2’s route regularly runs through Millvale’s central business district. Unfortunately, a bridge along that route recently failed inspection and can no-longer safely carry buses. Now, the County, the State, and the Municipality are all at odds about who’s going to pay for the repair and riders are forced to put up with longer walks and continued uncertainty.
So although its good that the modified route will mean that the buses will show up on some of the real time arrival apps, which will make arrivals more predictable, the big question we have is what stops are going to be added on the detoured portion on Evergreen? Without added stops, people in Millvale have precarious access to transit and they deserve better.
With the historically high levels of infrastructure funding now available from the Infrastructure Bill, riders deserve to see change quickly. If you live in Millvale or take the 2, please share your Transit Trouble story and help Pittsburghers for Public Transit advocate for change.
77-Penn Hills – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Inbound buses to downtown will travel via Bigelow Boulevard between Sixth and Liberty avenues.
|Inbound Stops Discontinued for 77-Penn Hills|
|Chatham St at Centre Ave (Stop #8585)|
|Sixth Ave at Fifth Ave (Stop #18799)|
|Fifth Ave at Ross St (Stop #20293)|
|Fifth Ave at Grant St NS (Stop #17764)|
|Fifth Ave at Smithfield St (Stop #20691)|
|Fifth Ave at Wood St NS (Stop #18800)|
|Outbound Stops Established for 77-Penn Hills||Inbound Stops Established for 77-Penn Hills|
|Liberty Ave at Gateway #4 (Stop #20295)||Sixth Ave at Smithfield St (Stop #3158)|
|Sixth Ave at Wood St (Stop #3159)|
|Liberty Ave at 6th NS (Shelter) (Stop #22256)|
- Their wording is definitely confusing on this change. But what they mean is that the inbound 77s will make a right on on Sixth, a left on Liberty to a new layover point that is being established on Liberty near Gateway T Station. The biggest upside to this is that it’s giving drivers a break at both ends of the route is a quality of life improvement for hard working operators. However, the changes also limit service for riders. Night service is being scaled back. Weeknights, the last trip will leave downtown before 11pm. Saturday last trip will be 9pm. And Sunday is being scaled back to 8pm. Not to mention that some of the discontinued stops downtown will be a hardship for some riders. Weekday first trips will get a little earlier, which is good.
89-Garfield Commons – Service to Larimer via East Liberty Blvd has been discontinued and replaced with service through Bakery Square and North Point Breeze. Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed.
|Inbound Stops Discontinued for 89-Garfield Commons||Outbound Stops Discontinued for 89-Garfield Commons|
|East Liberty Blvd at Highland FS (Stop #20101)||East Liberty Blvd at Dahlem Pl (Stop #8541)|
|East Liberty Blvd at Centre Ave (Stop #20100)||East Liberty Blvd at Hamilton Ave (Stop #8542)|
|East Liberty Blvd at Larimer Ave (Stop #18966)||East Liberty Blvd at Frankstown Ave (Stop #8543)|
|East Liberty Blvd at Broad St (Stop #9342)||East Liberty Blvd at Larimer Ave (Stop #20096)|
|East Liberty Blvd opp Hamilton Ave (Stop #8878)||East Liberty Blvd at Negley Run Blvd (Stop #20097)|
|East Liberty Blvd opp Dahlem Pl (Stop #8879)||East Liberty Blvd at Highland Ave (Stop #9233)|
|East Liberty Blvd at Penn Ave (Stop #8880)||Penn Ave at Highland Ave (Stop #8882)|
|Inbound Stops Established for 89-Garfield Commons||Outbound Stops Established for 89-Garfield Commons|
|Highland Ave at Rippey St (New Stop)||Fifth Ave Ramp at Fifth Ave NS (Stop #17765)|
|Highland Ave at Broad St (Stop #17602)||Fifth Ave opp McPherson St FS (Stop #20108)|
|Penn Ave opp Bakery Square (Stop #8279)||Penn Ave at Bakery Square (Stop #18942)|
|Fifth Ave at Thomas Blvd (Stop #8320)||Highland Ave at Station St (Stop #3270)|
|Fifth Ave at McPherson St (Stop #20016)||Highland Ave opp Rippey St FS (New Stop)|
|Fifth Ave Ramp at Fifth Ave FS (Stop #16029)||Highland Ave at Penn Ave FS (New Stop)|
|Highland Ave at Vintage Senior Citizen Ctr (Stop #8539)|
- The only impact these changes will make is that riders will only lose access via this route to homes (including the Harriet Tubman Housing facility), the Kinglsey Center, the churches near Larimer Ave & East Liberty Blvd, and other businesses along Larimer Ave, Frankstown Ave, and Hamilton Ave.
P2-East Busway Short – Route will be removed and replaced with additional P1 trips.
- This route cut will primarily impact riders who live, work, and run errands near the East Busway’s Hays St Ramps stops. These riders will now need to walk further from Wilkinsburg Station or wait longer for the P68 or P78.
The middle of the road… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
59-Mon Valley – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. Due to the closure of Century III Mall Drive, the route will now terminate at Mountain View Drive at Home Depot.
- This entire change was prompted because PRT needs to move the start/end of this route from the long-neglected Century III Mall, which is now condmened. But to do that, PRT chose to stop/start the route at Home Depot on Mountain View Drive, which we think this is a huge missed opportunity because there are a number important destinataions (ALDI, a new UPMC Facility, a new Highmark facility, and others) that we imagine the buses will still be passing by on their way to/from the West Mifflin garage. This either forces riders to walk longer, more dangerous routes (sidewalks are severely lacking there and car speeds are deadly high in a vehicle heavy anti-pedestrian area), or completely severs them from these destinations. We would suggest that the route either starts/ends at Century Drive near the new UPMC/Highmark facilities or service Rt 51 and Lebanon Church Rd on the way back to the garage.
14-Ohio Valley – Some weekday trip times have changed because of rider feedback.
- This change is a mixed bag. Its good to see that rider feedback being listened to. Although evening service has been restored slightly on weekdays and Saturdays, there are other places where its been dialed back. Sunday ends just before 10pm, Saturday Ends before midnight. Service frequency is abysmal for nights and weekends.
19L-Emsworth Limited – Some weekday trip times have changed.
51-Carrick – Some weekend trip times have changed. Short variant trips to the Brentwood Loop were added on Saturday and Sunday, based on ridership.
- Good they’re adding short trips, but that doesn’t help people farther out who need the route to access businesses and homes.
54-Northside-Oarkland-South Side – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed based on a request from the scheduling committee.
- As a note, PRT should do a better job of explaining what the “scheduling committee” is. Our best description is that its a committee made up of transit operators from the 4 different garages and the scheduling department. They meet regularly to discuss changes to the schedules. Operators who drive these routes have some of the most intimate knowledge about how these routes run. So we’re glad that PRT is taking their input into account. But unfortunately the bad part is some trips have been cut or combined with other trips, which results in some later start times, fewer trips, and longer rider wait times.
Also, PRT needs to put back the timepoint at West Penn Hospital. Oakland to Bloofmield/Lawrenceville is the busiest part of the entire route, why delete this timepoint that the most riders take advantage of?
58-Greenfield – The Charles Anderson Bridge detour via Bates Street has been incorporated in the schedule.
|Inbound Stops Established for 58-Greenfield||Outbound Stops Established for 58-Greenfield|
|Blvd Of The Allies At Bates (Nearside)||Ronald At Beechwood (Existing)|
|Alger At Winterburn (Existing)||Blvd Of Allies At Bates (Farside)|
|Halket At Louisa (Existing)|
|Inbound Srops Discontinued for 58-Greenfield||Outbound Stops Discontinued for 58-Greenfield|
|Blvd Of The Allies At Juliet||Panther Hollow Road At Bartlett (Farside)|
|Blvd Of The Allies At Ward||Panther Hollow Road Opp Schenley Park Pool|
|Blvd Of The Allies At Dawson (Farside)||Blvd Of The Allies At Dawson|
|Panther Hollow At Panther Hollow Bridge||Blvd Of The Allies At Ward|
|Greenfield At Overlook||Blvd Of The Allies At Bates|
|Beechwood Blvd (Greenfield) Bridge At Alger|
- This same comment can be said for the changes slated for the 58, 65 and the 93 listed below. All of these routes have been on detour for months now because the Charles Anderson Bridge recently failed inspection and is currently closed to all traffic, which adds 10-20 minutes depending on Bates St traffic. Adding the detour to the route schedule will improve reliability for riders because the buses will now show up on the Real-Time maps, and establishing stops for these buses now gives riders access within these communities. These changes are PRT trying to make lemonaid out of lemons and we applaud that, and we also hope that politicians can pull down bridge repair money from the new Infrastructure Bill to help get riders moving.
65-Squirrel Hill – The Charles Anderson Bridge detour via Second Avenue/Greenfield Avenue has been included in the schedule as well as new downtown routing using Liberty Avenue and Seventh Avenue. Additional stops along Greenfield Avenue have been added and some weekday run times have changed.
|Inbound Stops Established for 65-Squirrel Hill||Outbound Stops Established for 65-Squirrel Hill|
|Blvd of the Allies at Bates FS||Blvd of the Allies at Bates NS|
|Blvd of the Allies at Halket FS||Greenfield Ave at Irvine St|
|Greenfield Ave at Overlook Dr||Greenfield Ave at Sylvan Ave|
|Greenfield Ave at Winterburn Ave FS||Greenfield Ave at #322|
|Greenfield Ave at Hoosac St FS||Greenfield Ave at Yoder St|
|Greenfield Ave at Lydia St FS||Greenfield Ave Hayworth St|
|Greenfield Ave opp Kearcher St||Greenfield Ave at Kearcher St|
|Greenfield Ave at Hayworth St||Greenfield Ave at Lydia St|
|Greenfield Ave opp Yoder St FS||Greenfield Ave at Hoosac St|
|Greenfield Ave at Frazier St||Greenfield Ave at Winterburn Ave|
|Greenfield Ave at Second Ave||Ronald St at Beechwood Blvd|
|Seventh Ave at Smithfield St||Liberty Ave at Market St|
|Liberty Ave at 7th St (Clark Bldg)||Liberty Ave at Wood St|
|Liberty Ave at 5th Ave||Seventh Ave at William Penn Pl|
|Liberty Ave at Wyndham Grand Hotel||Liberty Ave at Gateway #4|
|Inbound stops Discontinued for 65-Squirrel Hill||Outbound stops Discontinued for 65-Squirrel Hill|
|Panther Hollow at Bartlett FS||Blvd of the Allies at Juliet|
|Panther Hollow opp Schenley Park Pool||Blvd of the Allies at Ward|
|Blvd of the Allies at Dawson||Blvd of the Allies at Dawson FS|
|Blvd of the Allies at Ward||Panther Hollow at Panther Hollow Bridge FS|
|Blvd of the Allies at Bates||Stanwix opp Fourth Ave|
|Bluff St at Stevenson St||Blvd of the Allies at Market St|
|Stevenson St at Locust St||Blvd of the Allies at Wood St|
|Stevenson St at Forbes Ave||Blvd of the Allies at Smithfield St|
|Stevenson St at Fifth Ave|
|Fifth Ave at Magee St|
|Fifth Ave at Washington Pl|
|Fifth Ave opp Diamond St|
|Fifth Ave at Grant St NS|
|Fifth Ave at William Penn Pl FS|
|Fifth Ave at Wood St NS|
|Fifth Ave opp McMasters Way|
|Stanwix St opp Fourth Ave|
67-Monroeville – Some Sunday evening trip times have changed.
79-East Hills – Some peak trips have been converted into P17 trips. Route 79 will operate between Lincoln Avenue at Verona Boulevard and Wilkinsburg Station during midday and late-evening hours. During the evening peak, inbound 79 trips will operate between Wilkinsburg Station and Lincoln Avenue at Verona Boulevard then turn into a P17 that will serve Downtown via Lincoln Avenue and the East Busway. Outbound P17 trips will operate between Downtown to Wilkinsburg Station via Lincoln Park, East Hills, and Wilkinsburg. Some Saturday trip times have changed.
- Quite a few 82 trips were directly connected to the 79, so the headsign actually changed to 79 when it made it to lincoln loop, with no break inbetween. Automatic change at lincoln ave & verona blvd. Helpful for riders who rode because they were able to automatically transfer between routes. Now that these are seperated riders need to transfer, and schedules are not coordinated. Now riders going from east lib to lincoln park, Used to be able to get home from 15mins on one bus, now you need to transfer, and may need to wait for an additional 30 mins.
Linked trips between 82 and 79 have been severed. Which forces s transfer at lincoln ave and verona blvd, where before, riders would be able to keep on the same bus.
Started doing this on sundays last pick, now they’re doing it all days.
86-Liberty – Some weekend trip times have changed.
- Not sure why the schedulers have planned this route group so that the 88 and 87 run at the same time. Then the 86 runs ten minutes later. So riders downtown looking to go outbound have two buses that arrive at the same time, then have to wait 10 minutes for the next, then have to wait 20 minutes again. Why not just space these buses out to every 10 minutes like it used to be?
88-Penn – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed.
91-Butler Street – Some weekday trip times have changed.
93-Lawrenceville-Hazelwood – Some weekday and weekend trip times have changed. The Charles Anderson Bridge detour via Second Avenue/Greenfield Avenue has been included in the schedule. Additional stops along Greenfield Avenue have been added.
|Inbound Stops Established for 93-Lawrenceville-Hazelwood||Outbound Stops Established for 93-Lawrenceville-Hazelwood|
|Greenfield Ave at Irvine St||Greenfield Ave at Overlook Dr|
|Greenfield Ave at Sylvan Ave||Greenfield Ave at Winterburn Ave FS|
|Greenfield Ave at #322||Greenfield Ave at Hoosac St FS|
|Greenfield Ave at Yoder St||Greenfield Ave at Lydia St FS|
|Greenfield Ave Hayworth St||Greenfield Ave opp Kearcher St|
|Greenfield Ave at Kearcher St||Greenfield Ave at Hayworth St|
|Greenfield Ave at Lydia St||Greenfield Ave opp Yoder St FS|
|Greenfield Ave at Hoosac St||Greenfield Ave at Frazier St|
|Greenfield Ave at Winterburn Ave||Greenfield Ave at Second Ave|
|Ronald St at Beechwood Blvd|
|Inbound Stops Discontinued for 93-Lawrenceville-Hazelwood||Outbound Stops Discontinued for 93-Lawrenceville-Hazelwood|
|Blvd of Allies at Juliet St||Panther Hollow Rd at Bartlett Rd FS|
|Blvd of Allies at Ward St||Panther Hollow Rd opp Schenley Park Pool|
|Blvd of Allies at Dawson St||Blvd of Allies at Dawson St|
|Panther Hollow Rd at Panther Hollow Bridge FS||Blvd of Allies at Ward St|
|Blvd of Allies at Bates St|
P17-Lincoln Park Flyer – Some weekday trip times have changed. Inbound morning peak P17 trips will operate between Wilkinsburg Station to Downtown via East Hills and Lincoln Park. Outbound P17 trips from Downtown will travel up to Lincoln Avenue at Verona Boulevard then turn into the route 79 and continue to Wilkinsburg Station.
- This change is a step towards better cohesiveness and service improvements for the Lincoln Park area of Penn Hills. It lessens confusion. We hope is that service can continue to be added to the P17 to again be 7-days a week (it used to be back 10-years or so ago when it was called the LP) and give these communities a 1 seat ride into downtown. We’re glad that linked trips are expanded between the 79 and P17 (even though they were lost on the 82).
P12-Holiday Park Flyer – Some weekday trip times have changed.
P76-Lincoln Highway Flyer – Some weekday trip times have changed.
Silver – Some weekday trip times have changed.
Blue – Some weekday trip times have changed.
Reverse the cuts! Take action by signing the petition to PRT. We want a rapid transit plan that brings more access, not less.
If you have stories of bad transit service in the last few months, take a minute to share it with PPT and help advocate for change.
As these changes roll-out, be sure to give your feedback & suggestions by reaching out to PRT Customer Service by phone or over twitter:
PRT Customer service phone number: 412-442-2000
Hours: Weekdays 5a to 7p, Weekend + Holidays 8a to 430p
And if you want to get in touch with the volunteer-run @PGH_Bus_Info Hotline, you can give them a call at 412-759-3335 ONLY When PortAuthority Customer Service is Closed/unavailable or via Twitter anytime @PGH_BUS_INFO
The PGH Bus Info Hotline will be back on PPT’s blog in for the next set of changes. See ya then.