Staff Editorial – Port Authority offers easy access to Pittsburgh

Staff Editorial

Oct. 7, 2021

Getting around Pittsburgh seems easy enough from our quaint little spot on the Bluff, right? Then how come public transportation hasn’t really caught on, especially for students looking to explore beyond campus grounds? 

Pittsburgh public transportation, Port Authority, offers affordable transportation to your desired destination through bus, subway (the ‘T’) and incline. With fares as low as $2.75, or $2.50 with a ConnectCard, the city of Pittsburgh allows for easy-access to each side of the three rivers. Not to mention, the ‘T’ is free between city lines from just beyond Duquesne’s campus all the way to the North Shore. 

Traveling between Downtown and Oakland, for example, the Port Authority bus 71D runs from 5 a.m. to about 1:30 a.m. As for the T, getting around Downtown can mean 5 a.m. to around midnight for game days, concerts and more. 

With this in mind, most of our favorite go-to-spots are a straight shot, with easy-to-remember stops. Taking any 71 or 61 will go all the way up and down Forbes Ave., starting Downtown and taking you through Oakland, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, East Liberty and as far as Highland Park. This leaves plenty of opportunity for new places to eat, new parks to walk through and new sights to see. 

Apps such as Moov It, Transit or even Apple/Google maps offer riders the opportunity to keep track of arrival time, stops, transit lines and walking distance to the spot you’re looking to go to, right at your convenience. All you have to do is hop on, pay and pull the cord to request a stop. 

Some may worry about the timeliness of public transportation, though Port Authority buses are timely 71% of the time, as the ‘T’ is reported timely 80% of the time, according to Port Authority weekday average as of August. Meaning, on average, Port Authority takes at most 15 minutes to wait for. 

According to Pew Research Center, 59% of public transit riders are between the ages of 25-54, while students make up a mere 7%. This makes sense, considering that the majority of Uber users fall between the ages of 16-34. 

But why spend the extra money on an Uber or a Lyft when the option of flat-rate transit is right there at the ready? No tax, no fee, no tip? 

Aside from these various benefits, you are contributing to eco-friendly travel — decreasing the amount of carbon in the air by joining others in a more all-purpose transportation. Think: if there’s one larger vehicle as opposed to many smaller vehichles on the road, there is less toxins being produced and clearer air to breath at your next destination. So, it’s convenient for you, and convenient for the Earth, too. 

With the easy accessibility of public transit, you’ll see how the option of getting around is always there. Next time you’re out and about, consider taking the bus.