Megabus loses Downtown stop
By Tom Fontaine
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 1:54 p.m.
Megabus passengers are a nuisance at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center where they board, dropping litter and asking to use the center's bathrooms, so the Sports and Exhibition Authority told the low-cost carrier to hit the road, a company official said.
"They said the convention center wasn't built to be a transit stop," said Charles Lenzner, general manager and president of Lenzner Coach Lines, who oversees Megabus' local operations.
Lenzner said SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo and other authority officials told him too many riders ask to use the Downtown center's restrooms and leave trash near the 10th Street curbside stop beneath the center, among other concerns. He noted that Megabus coaches have restrooms and said the company places a 55-gallon garbage can at its stop each day.
"They are basically using the convention center as a bus terminal, which wasn't intended for the building. It is causing some safety issues and operational problems," Conturo said.
Megabus does not pay to use the curbside stop at the convention center.
Megabus must move by June 15. The company is looking for another location, possibly at Stanwix Street and Liberty Avenue near Port Authority's Gateway Center T line station.
Lenzner doesn't think the move will hurt business. "I think because of the low cost (of fares), the public will just accept it," he said.
Megabus, which offers one-way fares for as little as $1, serves 11 cities from Pittsburgh, including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland and Detroit. Pittsburgh is one of six hubs for Megabus, which began operating locally in 2007 and employs about 80 drivers, baggage loaders, dispatchers and mechanics.
Megabus is perhaps the most well-known of the so-called curbside operators that are experiencing strong growth nationally. The companies keep costs and fares low by relying on online booking instead of ticket agents, bus stops instead of stations and express service between major cities. A DePaul University study said curbside operators expanded service by 32 percent last year.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.