Transportation

Transportation news

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.

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.

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.

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.

Noah Brode/90.5 WESA

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

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.

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.

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."

Bike Sharing Program in Pittsburgh's Future

Mar 19, 2013
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 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. 

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.


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.

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.'

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

AAA Finds One in Four Text While Driving

Feb 25, 2013
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.

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.

AAA Kicks Off “FIX PA ROADS” Campaign

Feb 15, 2013

Pennsylvania AAA Clubs are launching a statewide public service outdoor advertising campaign to call attention to the state’s crumbling roads and unsafe bridges.

AAA East Central today announced a campaign to urge state officials to boost funding for the state’s ailing transportation system.

According to Brian Newbacher of AAA East Central, transportation investment has been under-funded in Pennsylvania for decades, and will take some years to fix.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Still Looking for More Transportation Money

Feb 13, 2013

Governor Tom Corbett’s plan new transportation would generate more than $5 billion over a five year period, however, some say the budget might not be enough to fix Pennsylvania’s transit woes. The plan is projected to yield less money than the governor’s transportation funding advisory commission said would be necessary to keep up with the needs of the state’s ailing infrastructure.

Pennsylvania senate Transportation Committee chairman John Rafferty is leading the effort to draft legislation on the issue. He said he’s looking for something north of that.

Winter Storm Nemo Wreaks Havoc On Travel Plans

Feb 8, 2013

While winter storm Nemo won’t be hitting the Pittsburgh region, its impact will still be felt—especially when it comes to flights from Pittsburgh International.

JoAnn Jenny, spokesperson for the airport, said there wasn’t a final tally by the airport of the amount of cancelled and/or delayed flights, but it wouldn’t be surprising to her if there were going to be “hundreds if not thousands” of flights cancelled because of the storm.

For the first time, PennDOT is conducting an inventory of all the bridges in Pennsylvania. Previously, the agency was only required to keep a log of any state or locally owned bridge more than 20 feet in length.

PennDOT spokesperson, Erin Waters-Trasatt, said only numbers and not conditions would be reported. “This initiative is taking a bridge and local road inventory. It is not assessing or inspecting these roads and bridges,” Waters-Trasatt said.

AIRMALL Renovates to Draw in More Customers

Jan 29, 2013

The center core in the landside terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport will look very different once renovations to update its retail space are finished at the end of this year.

AIRMALL USA, the operator of Pittsburgh International’s shops and restaurants is beginning a $10 million project to increase business in the airport’s stores.  Because of federal security rules only ticketed passengers can access the mall's stores.

Jay Kruisselbrink, vice president of development for AIRMALL, said the changes will reflect the airport’s transformation over 20 years.

Snow Comes Fast to Pittsburgh Region

Jan 25, 2013

<strong>UPDATED 4:10pm:</strong> The first flakes of snow began to fall in the Pittsburgh area a little after 10:00am Friday and the first reports of slippery roads and sidewalks were not far behind.  A winter weather advisory remains in effect for most of southwestern Pennsylvania until 1:00am Saturday. 

The National Weather service is calling for 1-2 inches of accumulation with as much as six inches in the Laurel Highlands where the advisory does not expire until Saturday afternoon. 

Cold Equals Calls for Western Pennsylvania AAA

Jan 23, 2013

It’s the dead of winter, and that can mean issues with your car.

AAA East Central spokesperson Bevi Powell said call volume has doubled because of Pittsburgh’s stretch of below-freezing temperatures.

“Most of those calls coming in are primarily batteries that won’t start, and then tires, because the cold weather affects the air pressure on your tires,” Powell said. “And then lockouts because people start their cars so that its nice and warm, and then they discover that they’ve locked their keys in the car.”

At the doorway to the Pittsburgh City Council Chamber Tuesday morning, a score of people gathered to call for more investment in Pennsylvania's transportation systems, particularly concerning mass transit.

Members of the Allegheny County Labor Council, the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, City Council, and Pittsburghers for Public Transit all spoke in favor of pulling a transportation funding commitment from Governor Tom Corbett and the state legislature.

The fumes emitted from diesel fuel are far from pleasant, especially when drivers find themselves following these types of vehicles down the highway. An Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will allow UPMC to replace 20 diesel-fuel shuttle buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

A recent uptick in in highway deaths has prompted AAA to continue to work with Pennsylvania legislators on tighter driver safety laws. That includes bans on texting while driving, which is already on the books in the commonwealth, primary seat belt laws and ways to increase teen driver safety.

Pages