Transportation

Essential Pittsburgh
12:01 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Finding Pittsburgh's Light Rail

Light Rail stops in the Free Zone, such as the sleekly designed Gateway Station Downtown, are highly visible
Emily DeMarco PublicSource

  Roughly 28,000 people ride the Pittsburgh area’s light-rail system every day. But many more could be using and funding the system if the stops were easier to access. Inspired by a study from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, PublicSource reporter, Emily DeMarco embarked on a tour of the Port Authority's 52 T-stops. She took photos, gathered audio and asked commuters what they think of the light-rail system.

Gas Prices
12:10 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Western PA Gas Prices Falling, Expected to Continue Downward Trend

Gasoline prices have fallen about 8 cents this week compared to last.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.56 per gallon, while the national average is $3.52.

AAA East Central said there are several reasons for the price decline.

“One thing is they were very high coming into the winter season, and typically they’re lower during the winter,” said spokeswoman Bevi Powell. “We had a lot of refinery issues at that time that made the prices higher.”

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PennDOT
9:59 am
Mon April 15, 2013

PennDOT Plays Musical Cars, and Takes Some Away

PennDOT is touting the savings resulting from smarter management of its vehicle fleet. The agency expects to save $4 million a year by changes that include reducing its fleet of state-assigned cars by 30 percent.

It's not a huge amount in an annual budget of more than $6 billion, but it's better than nothing.

"The bottom line is, is money is tight," said department spokesman Steve Chizmar. "So we have to look at every possible angle for additional efficiencies."

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Transportation
3:15 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

State Lawmakers Offer Warnings About Distracted Driving

Any number of activities can divert a driver’s attention — changing the radio station, reaching for a coffee cup or checking one’s makeup — but state Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin County) and state Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington County) held a news conference Tuesday to specifically discourage cell phone use while driving. 

Texting while driving is banned in 39 states and the District of Columbia. It's a primary offense in Pennsylvania, meaning a driver can be stopped by police just for texting. Ten states have banned all handheld cell phone use while driving.  

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Transportation
11:39 am
Fri April 5, 2013

PennDOT: Disabled Tractor Trailer Cleared from Northbound Route 28

Updated post: 1:45 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reporting that a disabled tractor trailer blocking traffic on northbound (outbound) Route 28 has been cleared.

Original post: 11:39 a.m.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reporting that a tractor trailer is disabled on northbound (outbound) Route 28 in the single lane construction zone.

Northbound traffic is stopped, according to PennDOT. Drivers are advised to consider alternate routes.

Transportation
10:16 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Squirrel Hill Tunnel Outbound to Close for Rehab Work this Weekend

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is advising drivers that the outbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel on the Parkway East (I-376 eastbound) in Pittsburgh will be closed this weekend.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Rich Fitzgerald on the North Shore Connector One Year Later

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

The North Shore Connector began taking passengers under the Allegheny River one year ago this month. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald joins us to talk about the new travel possibilities the light rail line has opened up.

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Biking
10:08 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Plans for Bike Share Program Advance in Pittsburgh Council

Pittsburgh City Council has given preliminary approval to legislation that sets up an account for a bike-share program in the city slated for 2014, although no city funds would be used for the $3 million initiative.

The committee vote Wednesday advanced two bills regarding "Pittsburgh Bike Share" to a full Council vote on Tuesday, where final approval is expected.

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US Airways Merger
5:18 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

US Airways' Moon Township Op Center Could Close Due To Merger

When US Airways and American Airlines announced their $11 billion merger on February 14, the new company was expected to retain fleet and ground service in Pittsburgh, with flight operations located in Moon Township.

But now that might not be the case after US Airways Chairman Doug Parker, who will be CEO of the new American Airlines, told employees last week that the Pittsburgh-area Operations and Control Center (OOC) could be shut down in a few years.

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Light Rail
4:00 am
Mon March 25, 2013

The North Shore Connector, One Year Later

A Port Authority "T" train pulls up to a stop near Heinz Field, one of the premier rail destinations of the North Shore Connector.
Credit Noah Brode/90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA's Noah Brode reports on the prospects for local light rail at the one-year anniversary of the North Shore Connector.

It was one year ago today that the North Shore Connector light rail line began taking passengers under the Allegheny River.

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Transportation
11:08 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Weekend Squirrel Hill Tunnel Closure Canceled Due to Inclement Weather

A planned closure of the outbound (westbound) Squirrel Hill Tunnel this weekend has been canceled due to inclement weather, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The tunnel will remain open in both directions this weekend, according to a news release from PennDOT. Single lane closures in each direction are expected to continue Friday evening into Saturday morning.

The closure had been planned as part of the second year of a four-year major rehabilitation of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

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Amtrak
5:53 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Deal Reached with Amtrak To Keep The Pennsylvanian Rolling

Amtrak service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg might not be derailed after all.

The Corbett administration announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with Amtrak on a new funding plan that will maintain rail passenger service between Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

Under the revised agreement with Amtrak, Pennsylvania will provide $3.8 million a year to maintain the service featuring one train a day in each direction between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The through service continues to and from Philadelphia and New York City.

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Transportation
7:18 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Former Head of Allegheny Co. Port Authority Visits to Talk About Future of Travel

The efficient movement of people and goods is one of the essential components of sustainable regions. So, too, is keeping public transportation both accessible and operative at the most efficient levels, according to William W. Millar, a nationally known expert in the fields of public transportation and transportation policy.

Millar spoke on these and other transportation issues at the University of Pittsburgh Tuesday during his lecture, “How Will We Travel in the Future? The Role of Transportation in Building Sustainable Regions."

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:44 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Bike Sharing Program in Pittsburgh's Future

In Washington D.C. you can pay as you go to bike anywhere. This could be on the way for Pittsburgh.
Credit Carlos Reis

Could a bike sharing program allow the Steel City to follow in the bike tracks of Washington, D.C. and London? We'll find out when we talk with Scott Bricker, Executive Director of Bike Pittsburgh.

South Side Shuttle
3:23 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Free Shuttle to Take Pressure off South Side Parking and Traffic

A free shuttle will be added this weekend to the fleet of PAT buses that ply the South Side.
Credit South Side Chamber of Commerce

It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Pittsburgh, and that means thousands of area residents will be headed downtown for the parade. Thousands will also make their way to the South Side for a bit of celebrating. 

The revelry usually leads to near-gridlock conditions on East Carson Street, but the city hopes a new shuttle bus will help relieve the pressure.

Three buses will run from noon to 4 a.m. along Carson Street every 15 minutes between the Southside works and the city’s Second Avenue lot at the 10th Street Bridge. 

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Biking
4:46 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Bike-Share Program Coming to Pittsburgh Next Year

Pittsburghers will be seeing a lot more of these sturdy bikes around town when a bike-share program takes off next year.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Biking advocates gathered in Bakery Square on Monday to announce plans for a bike-share system to start in Pittsburgh next year that would feature 500 bicycles stationed at 50 special bike docks across the city.

Slated for a spring or summer 2014 opening, a subscriber could choose a short-term membership of one day or a long-term plan of one year. The user can then check out one of the sturdy bikes from one docking station and deposit it at any of the other 49 destinations.

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Transportation Funding
7:54 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Sen. Brewster Wants $$$s for SW PA Transportation Projects

90.5 WESA's Emily Farah talks to State Senator Jim Brewster about Corbett's transportation funding package.

A Pittsburgh area state lawmaker is demanding funding for mass transit and completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway be included in the Corbett administration's transportation package.

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Transportation Funding
5:02 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Transportation Report Calls for More PennDOT Funding

In a first-ever report, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation received high marks for 'safety' and 'accountability,' a middling grade in 'mobility,' and a poor assessment in terms of 'preservation and renewal.'

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Transportation
12:00 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

PennDOT Begins 2013 Construction Season

While the beginning of construction season is still a few weeks away, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has opened bidding for projects across the state.

49 projects worth an estimated $282 million will be bid on in Allegheny County this year. Of these, 24 will involve replacing or improving bridges in the county—which are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

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Sequestration Hits Airports
2:25 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Expect Delays at Pittsburgh International when Sequester Hits

Travelers should expect longer screening lines after the sequester hits on Friday.
Credit Kevin Gavin/90.5 WESA

As a result of the upcoming “sequestration,” the automatic cuts to federal spending on Friday, travelers flying from Pittsburgh might have to put up with longer lines, and more delays.

Brad Penrod, President of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, said they’re in talks with the TSA, FAA, and Customs and Border Protection to prepare for the fallout from the cuts.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is facing a $600 million budget decrease and is considering furloughing “the vast majority” of the its 47,000 employees for one day per pay period until September.

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The Pennsylvanian
3:00 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Policy Group Tells State to Evaluate Subsidizing AMTRAK

 

A local public policy group is asking the commonwealth to ask some hard questions before subsidizing AMTRAK's ride from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg on a train called The Pennsylvanian

The passenger rail train service has lost some federal funds, and is now looking to Pennsylvania for $5.7 million.

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Transportation
11:28 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Adjustments Coming To Port Authority Bus Routes

While no major overhauls are in the works, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is planning to alter some bus routes.

Beginning March 17, approximately 35 routes will be tweaked. Heather Pharo, spokesperson for the Port Authority, said the changes are for a variety of reasons including overcrowding along some routes.

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Distracted Driving
10:27 am
Mon February 25, 2013

AAA Finds One in Four Text While Driving

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 27 percent of motorists sent a text or email while driving last month.
Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr

A new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 27 percent of motorists sent a text or email while driving in the past month.

It also found that two out of three motorists talked on their phone while driving in the last 30 days, and 89 percent believe others using cell phones are a danger to their safety.

The survey gauged the reactions of about 3,900 U.S. residents ages 16 and older to different safety situations.

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Mass Transit
11:09 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Conservative Think Tank: Corbett's Transportation Numbers Don't Add Up

When Governor Corbett released his proposed 2013-14 budget of $28.4 billion this month, it included a transportation investment plan.

The governor said that his five year initiative would total more than $5.3 billion--roughly an additional $250 million per year for mass transit in Pennsylvania.

But Jake Haulk, president of the Allegheny Institute, a conservative think tank, said the increased amounts don't add up.

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