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Plans For 24-Hour Bus Routes In The Works In Parts Of Allegheny County

Jake Savitz
90.5 WESA

Beginning next year, the Port Authority of Allegheny County plans to extend bus service in some areas to 24 hours a day. According to the agency's CEO Katharine Kelleman, the change is meant to help night shift workers get to and from their jobs. 

The plan would address neighborhoods with a high volume of riders, which would include routes to Pittsburgh International Airport, Monroeville and Lawrenceville.

"We know we have a lot of big employers out at the airport who are doing these really late shifts," Kelleman said. "So it makes sense for us to look there."

If the expansion makes it into next year's Port Authority budget, the rollout would start next September. 

Laura Wiens, executive director of advocacy group Pittsburghers for Public Transit, said she supports the idea. She said it's a move that will serve a lot of blue-collar workers, not just people who work 9 to 5.

"There are a lot of people that are very transit reliant that haven't been able to access jobs," Wiens said. "Or they have had a lot of difficulty getting to work on time and getting home safely because they didn't have transit service that met their needs."

On Wednesday, the American Public Transportation Association published a report encouraging expansion of night transit for late shift workers. The paper specifically discussed the need for transit to and from Pittsburgh International Airport -- along with other locations in the country -- because of the volume of workers who work late hours.