For anyone who’s ridden a bus in Pittsburgh, it’s no secret they can be laughably unreliable. But what’s not funny is the lax attitude the region seems to have about its lack of efficient public transportation. Pittsburgh is certainly growing and has great potential as an up-and-coming city, though its transportation mess might single-handedly hold it back.
Pittsburghers put up with a lot. We’ve been waiting since 2010 for the major construction project on Route 28 to be completed; in the meantime, we’ve been detoured to avoid the closed 31st Street Bridge and now until late summer we will be detoured to avoid using the East Ohio Street ramp. But it’s all in the name of improvement, right? So we, albeit sometimes impatiently, wait it out, knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
The problem with the Port Authority bus system, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any urgency on local officials’ part to improve anything. In fact, I’m not sure the city or county even acknowledges that our bus system is perhaps one of the worst in the country. (I’ll not even get into how difficult it is to get a taxi here, either.)
Whether it’s completely unannounced changes to the already unreliable schedule, phantom buses that never come or, my latest favorite, the bus that comes between the old and the new scheduled times, our bus system is a joke.
Local officials should be embarrassed by how poorly our transportation system runs and should be working earnestly to improve it. Road construction is constant in the city; why aren’t similar improvements to public transportation ever a top priority?