Megabus says Pittsburgh forcing it from Downtown stop


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Charles Lenzner says he doesn't understand why Pittsburgh officials are demanding that the wildly successful Megabus service relocate its Downtown bus stop.

The current stop near 10th Street and Penn Avenue is under the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, meaning riders don't have to wait in rain or snow. There are three lanes so traffic isn't blocked, and there is a wide sidewalk.

"We want to save fuel. We want to keep things greener. We want cars off the road. But [city officials] don't want the buses around town and don't want people on the sidewalks," said Mr. Lenzner, president of Lenzner Coach Lines, whose parent, Coach USA, owns Megabus.

He said the Sports & Exhibition Authority, which owns the convention center, has ordered him to move the stop by June 15. And he said one city official has even suggested the service may have to cease operations.

Mr. Lenzner disputes the authority's claim that riders are using convention center restrooms and scattering trash. "We are not a nuisance," he said, adding that there are eight garbage cans at the stop and four dispatchers on duty from 4:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. to ensure orderly operations.

The sports authority's executive director, Mary Conturo, wasn't available for comment this morning.

Megabus, known for bargain fares as low as $1, debuted in Pittsburgh in May 2010 and has grown rapidly. It now offers service to 11 cities, including Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. Thirty-seven buses per day use the convention center stop.

Mr. Lenzner said he has proposed two alternate stops -- one near the Port Authority's Gateway Station at Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street and another he wouldn't identify. As of this morning, he was waiting to hear from city officials.

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This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To subscribe: http://old.post-gazette.com/trypress/ Jon Schmitz: 412-263-1868 or jschmitz@post-gazette.com.


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