ShareThis Page

Westmoreland Transit looks for ways around Route 30 delays into Pittsburgh

| Thursday, April 12, 2018, 1:09 p.m.
Riders board a Westmoreland Transit bus headed for Pittsburgh at 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The riders had been waiting at a park-and-ride in North Huntingdon.
Renatta Signorini | Tribune-Review
Riders board a Westmoreland Transit bus headed for Pittsburgh at 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The riders had been waiting at a park-and-ride in North Huntingdon.

Fifteen minutes in the morning means a lot for Jill Tyner of North Huntingdon.

Before a landslide closed a portion of Route 30 in East Pittsburgh, it meant she had some time to make sure her 11-year-old son ate breakfast and caught his school bus.

But now that the highway's closure affects the bus route she takes to work at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Tyner has to get going earlier and hope that her son can get himself out the door. She used to catch the 7:30 a.m. bus but now rides the 7:15 a.m. route.

“I'm not very happy about that,” she said while waiting on a cool Thursday morning at a township park and ride. “My biggest concern is my son.”

Westmoreland County Transit Authority officials hope to have a revised plan in place by Monday's morning rush hour to deal with service delays caused by the landslide.

Three of its most popular commuter service routes from Westmoreland County to Pittsburgh have been impacted by the road closing, causing delays of up to 15 minutes for passengers, said Meghan Yuhouse, the authority's operations manager.

“It's backed everything up throughout the day,” Yuhouse said. “We understand it is an inconvenience, and that's why we're trying to find the best solutions.”

A portion of Route 30 collapsed about 40 feet down a hillside on Saturday after a retaining wall gave way, PennDOT officials said. The state transportation agency earlier had closed westbound traffic and later eastbound traffic in that area after the road buckled and then when they determined it was due to a landslide.

Potential changes are being considered to Westmoreland bus routes into and out of Pittsburgh as well as potential timing adjustments for the 30 bus runs impacted by the landslide, Yuhouse said.

Officials hope to announce changes Friday and implement them Monday, she said.

Steven Munden of South Huntingdon has noticed about 20 minutes added to his 3:40 p.m. trip back to the park and ride following classes at Duquesne University.

The authority's 1F Route from Greensburg to Pittsburgh, the 3F Route from Mt. Pleasant to Pittsburgh and Route 4 into Pittsburgh all travel on Route 30 into the city.

The authority's eastbound buses out of Pittsburgh are following the PennDOT recommended detour that operates through East McKeesport before returning to Route 30 beyond the area of the road closing, Yuhouse said. Westbound buses into the city follow that same detour. PennDOT's recommended detour for westbound traffic, which the authority does not use, would have the buses travel a short distance on I-376, or the Parkway East, from Churchill to Wilkinsburg.

Detours are expected to be in place for months as work crews evaluate the landslide area and rebuild the road.

Yuhouse said the authority has not determined if commuter ridership has been affected by the detours.

About a dozen people got on the 7:15 a.m. bus on Thursday from the park and ride, including Erik Kelly of North Huntingdon, who works at PNC Bank as an application developer. The extra time doesn't bother him.

“I fall asleep no matter where we go,” Kelly said.

Rich Cholodofsky and Renatta Signorini are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach Cholodofsky at 724-830-6293 or Reach Signorini at 724-837-5374, or via Twitter @byrenatta.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me