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Greyhound to begin daily service to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 12:24 p.m.

Greyhound will begin daily service to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe to meet the needs of people traveling to and from Pittsburgh to take advantage of Spirit Airlines discount flights.

Beginning Nov. 7, buses will stop at the terminal building in Unity twice a day on a route that includes Pittsburgh and Greensburg.

“We're starting the initial phases of a transportation hub,” said Gabe Monzo, Westmoreland County Airport Authority executive director. “It's pretty exciting stuff.”

Current bus routes pass through downtown Latrobe with a stop at Alexandria and Depot streets.

With the location shift, passengers will be able to use the airport terminal amenities before flights. The company plans to add ticketing service and Greyhound Package Express shipping service, said spokeswoman Alexandra Pedrini.

Buses will arrive near the side of the terminal where the luggage carousel is located, said board Chairman Don Rossi. The airport authority is pursuing grant money from the state Department of Transportation to modify the sidewalk and move a fire hydrant to allow bus parking.

“(Greyhound service) gives the public another avenue to have access,” he said. “We think it's a great step forward.”

Routes and schedules will not be otherwise affected. The bus will continue to depart Pittsburgh at 6:25 a.m. and arrive in Latrobe at 7:35 a.m. and depart Pittsburgh at 10:30 a.m. to arrive in Latrobe at 11:50 a.m. The bus will leave Latrobe at 4:30 p.m. to arrive in Pittsburgh at 5:55 p.m.; the 7:55 p.m. bus will arrive in Pittsburgh at 8:45 p.m.

Routes ending in Harrisburg and New York City will be accessible at the airport, Pedrini said.

The early morning arrival to the airport will allow air passengers to catch 11 a.m. Spirit flights, while the 11:50 a.m. arrival will accommodate any passengers on 2 or 4 p.m. flights.

All passengers can use free overnight parking at the airport, which was expanded by 250 spaces in June to accommodate a total of 1,100 vehicles.

Ticket prices between Latrobe and Pittsburgh start at about $15, according to Greyhound's website.

“The price will be adjusted daily. It really depends on when you're booking and how far in advance you're booking,” Pedrini said.

After a review of Westmoreland Transit bus schedules, the authority started discussions with Greyhound about a year ago, Monzo said.

The county-operated authority has always served the airport, but its stop times did not jibe with flight times as well as Greyhound's stops, he said.

A daily commuter route to Pittsburgh leaves the airport at 5:20 a.m. and returns from the city at 5:25 p.m., according to an online schedule.

The airport flew 91,420 passengers, a 400 percent increase from March 2011 to March 2013, because of Spirit Airlines service that began in February 2011.

The commercial service provides direct flights to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas-Fort Worth and seasonally to Myrtle Beach and is on pace to hit 260,000 passengers by Dec. 31, Rossi said.

Latrobe City Manager Alex Graziani said although the bus stop is shifting to the airport outside town, he is glad transportation services will expand for residents and visitors to the area.

“The more this community — any part of it — benefits, we all benefit,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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