By: Katie Auwaerter | Features Editor
In order to explore all the wonders of Pittsburgh, you’re going to need transportation to get there. Unless you are one of the lucky few to have a car on campus, this may be your first time using public transportation. While this can seem scary, don’t be afraid; with a little planning, you’ll get to where you’re going in no time.
Since you now live in the metropolis of Pittsburgh, you have access to the Pittsburgh Port Authority bus system. Navigating the different bus routes may seem confusing, but with a few tips, getting to your destination will be a breeze.
First, if you have a smart phone, I’d download the ezRide PGH app. You can enter your current location and your final destination and it will tell you what bus to take. You may have to walk a bit to get to the bus stop, but it will give you the most direct route to where you’re going. This app is free for the first month, then it costs $4.99.Your other option is downloading Google Maps, which is a free app that functions similarly to ezRide PGH.
A one-way trip on the bus costs $2.50, and for an additional dollar, you can get a transfer that you can use for your return trip or to get onto another bus. Since the bus takes exact change, get a Port Authority ConnectCard. A ConnectCard is a bus pass that you can purchase at Giant Eagle or at Port Authority’s downtown service center. You can either purchase a weekly or monthly pass, which gives you an unlimited amount of rides for that period of time, or load any amount of money onto the card. That way, you don’t have to worry about having exact change for the bus.You just swipe and you’re on your way!
Also part of the Port Authority Transportation system is The T, which is Pittsburgh’s trolley system. The great part about the T is that it is free in the downtown area, which means that you can get to the North Shore for free. The closest T station to campus is the Steel Plaza, and if you venture outside of the free zone, the fare is the same as a bus trip.
But sometimes, a bus just doesn’t get you to where you want to go or you’d have to walk for 30 minutes just to get to the bus stop. In this situation, you may consider taking a cab. The first instinct is to use Yellow Cab, Pittsburgh’s cab company, but there are other options!
First, consider Lyft, which is a ride-sharing service known for the pink fuzzy mustaches on the front of the cars. All you have to do is download the Lyft app, and you can request to be picked up and see that the driver is on route. You enter your credit card information into the app, so you can easily pay electronically.
Pittsburgh also has Uber, which is a company similar to Lyft. People can send a text or use the app to request a pickup, but the prices of Uber tend to be higher than that of Lyft.
Now that you know the best way to get around, don’t forget to do it safely. As a college student you may think you’re old enough to gallivant throughout the city by yourself, but think twice about that. The buddy system may sound like it’s for kids, but in today’s world, its best to go with a group of people. Not only is it safer, but on the off chance that you DO get lost, then there’s more brainpower to figure out how to fix the situation! If you do however get into a situation where you feel unsafe, you can call the Duquesne Police at 412-396-COPS (or 2677). The DuPo are willing to pick you up from your location, even if you’re off campus.