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Port Authority Will Begin Phasing Out Passenger Limits On May 31

Margaret Sun
90.5 WESA

There’s nothing quite like sprinting flat-out for a bus, backpack or briefcase swinging uncomfortably from side to side, sweating -- only to discover it’s already at capacity. This was not an infrequent occurrence during the pandemic, especially for riders of color, due to passenger limits intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Now, as Pennsylvania prepares to lift all Covid mitigation orders on May 31, the Port Authority of Allegheny County will follow suit, gradually.

On Monday, May 31 fifteen riders will be able to board a regular 35-foot bus, up from just 10, while articulated buses and light rail cars will carry 35 people at a time, up from 25. The Monongahela Incline will remain limited to 12 passengers.

That still will leave a lot of empty space: A 35-foot bus has seating for 35 people, not including standing room, and a light-rail car can carry roughly 200 people. But on June 20, Port Authority will once again be able to fully embody the term mass transit: There will be no restrictions on ridership.

Until further notice, passengers and drivers must continue to wear face coverings, in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.