Port Authority to eliminate 430 Pittsburgh-area bus stops

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Port Authority will eliminate about 430 stops on 36 bus routes next month in the first phase of a consolidation that was talked about four years ago.

The stop eliminations, along with schedule changes on 45 bus routes, will take effect June 16. The agency said the stops were chosen because they get little or no use -- either no daily riders or just one. In most cases, other stops are nearby, spokesman Jim Ritchie said.

Among the most heavily affected routes are the 2 Mount Royal, losing 36 stops, including several on East Ohio Street, Mount Royal Boulevard, Peebles Road in McCandless and Parker Street in Shaler and Etna; the 1 Freeport Road, with 33 stop eliminations including 17 inbound and outbound stops on Freeport Road; and 59 Mon Valley, losing 33 stops.

The authority says it has no projections for time savings from the cuts.

PG graphic: Bus stop eliminations
(Click image for larger version)

"Since these stops were typically unused or rarely used, and since the stops are distributed over many routes throughout the system, the impact on any one route will be small. Additionally, there may be other factors that also impact trip time ... We will of course monitor any impact to the routes," Mr. Ritchie said.

The authority has 7,200 bus stops. It expects to eliminate another 250 to 400 stops in November. The stops being eliminated next month were chosen based on passenger counts taken from September to November by sensors at bus doorways, Mr. Ritchie said.

At the direction of Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the authority last June eliminated 11 stops on the Light Rail Transit system. The eliminations were designed to speed service, but schedules on the rail routes have not changed since the stops were abolished.

Mr. Ritchie said the authority is "continuing to assess" rail timetables.

The routes that are getting schedule changes on June 16 will mostly have minor adjustments to trip times. The authority revises its schedules on a quarterly basis. But on some routes, more significant changes are planned.

Based on neighborhood input, the authority is changing the name of the 83 Webster to 83 Bedford Hill and rerouting it along Bedford Avenue between Devilliers Street and Herron Avenue in the Hill District.

Routing and schedules will change for routes that were detoured by a 6-ton weight limit placed on the Kenmawr Bridge in Swissvale.

The 61A Wilkinsburg via Forbes Avenue will be extended along Woodstock Avenue, Hawkins Avenue, Middle Street, Baldridge Avenue, Sixth Street, Braddock Avenue and Library Street to a new terminus across from the Carnegie Library in Braddock. The 61B Braddock-Swissvale route will be shortened to end there, no longer going on to Swissvale Station.

The 59 Mon Valley will be rerouted because of the bridge restriction, via Fourth and Fifth avenues, Rankin Boulevard, Monongahela Avenue, the Washington Street Bridge and Woodstock Avenue. Trips operating from Century III to North Versailles will no longer enter Swissvale Station, staying on Woodstock Avenue.

The 71 Edgewood Town Center, P71 Swisshelm Park-Rankin Flyer and P7 McKeesport Flyer also will be rerouted to avoid the restricted bridge.

On the 56 Lincoln Place and 57 Hazelwood, evening trips will be an hour apart rather than every 45 minutes. The 57 will get five additional daytime trips.

Changes also will take effect on the heavily traveled P1 East Busway-All Stops, P2 East Busway-Short and G2 West Busway-All Stops routes.

More details and links to new schedules are available at www.portauthority.org under "Service Changes." Paper schedules will be made available before the changes take effect.

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Jon Schmitz: jschmitz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1868. Visit the PG's transportation blog, The Roundabout, at www.post-gazette.com/Roundabout. Twitter: @pgtraffic. First Published May 29, 2013 4:00 AM


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