Allegheny County Port Authority

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. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Being spit on, slapped, sucker-punched, and threatened with guns were just a few of the violations endured by Port Authority of Allegheny County drivers between January 2015 and January 2019. 

Train
Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is asking Norfolk Southern to repay the transit agency nearly $3 million related to a train derailment near Station Square last year.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

At a rally Friday morning, transit activists called on the Allegheny County Port Authority board to change policies that they say hurt low-income riders. A letter was delivered to the Authority's board with 2,500 signatures asking for free transfers, no penalty on cash fares and fare capping.

Jakob Lazzaro / 90.5 WESA

Ten new diesel buses are coming to Allegheny County's roads, thanks to a $3.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman said they will be cheaper, cleaner to operate, and offer a quieter, smoother ride. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County board voted Friday to replace the emergency brake system on its Light Rail. 

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Katharine Eagan Kelleman began her new job Tuesday as the CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County. She takes over at a time when the transit agency has a lot on its plate, everything from a proposal to build a Bus Rapid Transit link between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland and beyond, to devising a cashless fare enforcement system that doesn’t profile certain riders.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The implementation of cashless fares on the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s light rail system has been put on hold until the interim CEO completes a review of concerns about the process.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

How Pittsburghers get from one place to the next can be a controversial topic. As the city continues to develop, mayoral candidates are considering strategies big and small to make local transit infrastructure work for everyone, including cyclists.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

On a snowy afternoon in the Hill District, Shafon Willis and her two kids waited for the 83 bus. Winter, 3, couldn’t seem to hold onto one of her pink gloves, which kept falling to the ground.

The Willis family rides the bus about three times a day to get to daycare and Shafon’s job on the South Side. She said she’s not a big fan of some of the recent changes to the bus system in Allegheny County. A new rule that went into effect Jan. 1 requires riders to enter in the front of the bus and exit from the back of the bus.  

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County board of directors approved a four-year contract with the union representing 2,200 bus and light-rail drivers, as well as mechanics Tuesday morning.

The special meeting lasted less than five minutes and came two days after members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 gave their approval to the agreement.

The contract includes an 11.25 percent wage increase for workers – 2.75 percent in the first three years and 3 percent in the fourth year.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Tens of thousands of commuters who use light-rail trains to travel through Pittsburgh ran late this morning.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County blamed an unspecified computer glitch that caused significant delays. At one point, trains couldn't travel into Downtown or the North Shore on Wednesday morning.

Transit spokesman Jim Ritchie said the problem was based in the rail operating center in the South Hills.

Trains returned to normal service about 8:15 a.m., Ritchie said, but they remained off-schedule through the morning rush.

KDKA/NewsChopper 2

Two transit workers accused of racing their buses have been acquitted of the most serious charges against them in a 2014 crash.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning said Thursday he believed 47-year-old Juliann Maier and 57-year-old Thomas Frauens were racing on Interstate 279. But he cleared them of reckless endangerment charges and acquitted Frauens of leaving the scene of an accident.

Manning found both fired Port Authority drivers guilty of summary offenses and fined the pair.

Mike Richards / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County officials heard from the public Wednesday on a proposed fare change that would take place next year.

Currently Port Authority buses and light rail lines run through two zones. Riding through one zone costs $2.50, with an additional $1.75 to ride through a second. Officials are proposing consolidating service into one zone, costing a flat $2.50 fee.

Daniel Lobo / flickr

Pittsburgh public transit users could pay less to ride the bus, or T, starting next year.

Allegheny County Port Authority officials are considering a flat $2.50 fare for one-way rides on the city's light rail and bus lines. It would be the system's first fare decrease in 35 years.

Customers currently maneuver two fare zones; a trip through one costs $2.50 and riding through two costs $3.75.

Area Bridge Closures Impact On Mass Transit

Dec 7, 2015
Wikipedia

The closure of the Greenfield Bridge is resulting in detours for commuters in private vehicles and those taking public transportation. However, the structure spanning I-376 isn’t the only bridge closing in the region. Three bridges where Braddock, Rankin, North Braddock and Swissvale come together have closed for repairs resulting in the rerouting of traffic and bus routes. Jim Ritchie, communications officer for the Port Authority joined us to address how this is impacting mass transit.
 
“We want the bridges to be safe and be able to accommodate the vehicles we have going throughout the county,” says Ritchie.

Researcher's Port Authority Sensors Help Smooth Your Ride Into Work

Nov 10, 2015
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90

If you've ever ridden a subway, you've probably experienced a bump in the tracks that could send your coffee onto another rider.

George Lederman, doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, wants to fix that, though you may never notice his work.

Piezoelectric sensors fixed to train cars with electrical tape are at the heart of Lederman's monitoring equipment. They measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain and force by converting these changes into an electrical charge. 

In mid-June, the Port Authority announced it is considering a one-time $5 fee for ConnectCard service. The proposal has been met with some criticism from riders, who expressed their views at a public hearing on Tuesday.

Many who spoke also offered potential fixes to avoid charging for the cards.

Edward Wagner of Brighton Heights opened up the public comment session by suggesting the Port Authority should not only keep ConnectCards free, but should also offer a discount to riders who use them because they save time.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Port Authority of Allegheny County officials are considering charging up to a $5 fee for their credit card-like ConnectCards to help offset more than $1 million already incurred to purchase and support their use.

More than 350,000 ConnectCards have been distributed for free since they began replacing paper passes and tickets in 2012. Spokesman Jim Ritchie said the authority swallows about $2.95 per card.

The proposed $5 charge would make the program more sustainable, he said.

County Health Plan To Target Air Quality, Obesity

May 26, 2015
Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Following more than a year of planning, research and community meetings, Allegheny County has released the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny (PHA), which sets priorities for health officials and partners to work on going forward.

“It’s a five-year plan that sets forth health priorities, measurable goals and strategies to reach those goals,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The plan identifies five key areas to focus on, including access, the environment, maternal and child health, mental health and substance abuse.

Port Authority officials are proposing a budget of $397.8 million for FY 15-16, an increase of about $9 million from this year.

The 2.3 percent spending increase will not result in a hike to the base fare ($2.50), service cuts or job reductions.

“This is absolutely a really good sign for the Port Authority,” said transit agency spokesman Jim Ritchie.

In fact, the preliminary budget calls for a limited service increase in some routes to alleviate overcrowding.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner on Tuesday announced she has filed legal action against four county authorities that she said are refusing to allow her office to conduct performance audits.

Wagner is seeking to audit the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA), the Allegheny County Port Authority, and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN).