Port Authority of Allegheny County provides a network of public transportation services to persons traveling within a 775 square-mile area, including the City of Pittsburgh and all of Allegheny County. Port Authority has a fleet of 1,000 buses, 83 light rail vehicles (LRVs) and 75 mini-buses. With the Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines and sponsorship of ACCESS, the nation's largest paratransit program of its kind for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, Port Authority is one of the nation's largest and most diversified public transit agencies.
Port Authority began operations in March 1964 following the passage of state legislation in 1959 enabling the consolidation of 33 private transit carriers, including the Pittsburgh Railways Company and 32 independent bus and inclined plane companies. By combining fare structures and centralizing operations, Port Authority established the first unified transit system in Allegheny County.
The Port Authority Board of Directors consists of nine members appointed by the Allegheny County Chief Executive and approved by the Allegheny County Council. Port Authority is funded by a combination of fare revenues and county, state and federal funds.
Port Authority's 2,900 employees serve approximately 250,000 riders daily and more than 68 million riders annually via 210 bus and rail routes and the Monongahela Incline. The Port Authority Board also authorizes operation of many other private carriers, including airport and hospital shuttles.
Port Authority provides service on three exclusive busways: the 4.3-mile South Busway; the 9.1-mile Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway; and the five-mile West Busway. Port Authority also operates the T, a 25-mile rail system (22.8 miles in current operation) that features the popular Downtown Subway. Port Authority's Stage II Light Rail Transit Project, opened in 2004, included reconstruction of the 5.2-mile Overbrook Line, reconstruction of a section of the Library Line, the purchase of 28 new LRVs, the remanufacture of 40 of the Authority's original fleet of 55 LRVs and an expanded and modernized Operations Control Center and new signaling and communications systems.
Port Authority continues to advance two capital projects and several planning efforts that will greatly enhance the quality and availability of public transportation service in Allegheny County and the region.
Port Authority is awaiting a Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration that will enable construction to begin on the North Shore Connector, a 1.6-mile extension of the T to Pittsburgh's North Shore and new David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Pittsburgh's North Shore is home to PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Carnegie Science Center and the Community College of Allegheny County, among other existing and proposed cultural, business and residential destinations. The North Shore Connector will efficiently link the Convention Center with hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, the Cultural District and other activity centers in Downtown, Station Square and the North Shore.
Port Authority and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) recently published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to advance the development of a 54-mile high-speed maglev deployment project that would connect Greensburg and Monroeville, Pennsylvania, with downtown Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Port Authority and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), in partnership with The Heinz Endowments, Port of Pittsburgh Commission, Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, the region's public transit agencies and a variety of other community partners, are finalizing a regional study to identify transportation needs and recommend improvements for southwestern Pennsylvania. The 20/20 Transit Visioning Study is incorporating the ideas and suggestions of residents, community leaders, employers and workers from the 10-county region. The results of the 20/20 Vision will determine the next round of future transportation investments for region.
Port Authority also recently concluded the Eastern Corridor Transit Study, undertaken along with SPC and the Westmoreland County Transit Authority to develop a program of transit improvements which would address the transportation and community needs in the eastern sector of the Pittsburgh region. The study recommended further examination of five transit build alternatives which are now the subject of an SPC planning initiative.
The Airport Multimodal Corridor Major Investment Study, completed in 2003, recommended advancing for further study highway, bus rapid transit and light rail improvements in the airport corridor.
Port Authority continues to modernize and expand its bus fleet. The Authority has placed into service 615 new buses in the past five years, including 390 low-floor buses, 75 mini-buses, 60 35-foot buses, 40 suburban coaches and 50 articulated buses, reducing the average age of the fleet to 5.9 years. The Authority now operates six hybrid electric buses, the first of their kind in its fleet.
Port Authority continues to pursue an aggressive Park and Ride program, which has grown to 64 lots and more than 14,850 spaces. The Port Authority this year opened a seven-story, 2,200-space parking garage at South Hills Village.
Port Authority plays a key role in the economic growth and vitality of Allegheny County by serving those residents who choose public transportation for its convenience or because of its economic and environmental benefits. – less–ZoomInfo