ShareThis Page

Bus-service upgrades in Penn Hills part of Port Authority budget proposal up for vote

Samson X Horne
| Thursday, May 26, 2016, 7:39 p.m.

Penn Hills residents may soon see an increase in bus service.

After considering 85 distinct requests from about 1,500 residents in its service area, Port Authority of Allegheny County board members proposed improving bus service for Penn Hills riders with more frequent stops and extended routes.

“We are glad there is this ... opportunity to expand transportation in Penn Hills because it is greatly needed. We see so many residents who struggle to get to appointments, jobs, training programs, and the store,” said Joyce Davis of the Lincoln Park Community Center and Penn Hills NAACP in a release about a news conference that the nonprofit Pittsburghers for Public Transit was to hold Downtown on Friday.

A Port Authority board budget vote later this month will determine if the proposal will be supported.

The budget proposal includes $378,000 to extend the 79 East Hills route to the Lincoln Loop via Mt. Carmel Road on weekdays and weekends, and $18,000 to offer more weekday service on the 79 East Hills route using the P17 Lincoln Park Flyer.

By extending the 79 to Mt. Carmel Road, the new route would, in effect, extend beyond the Giant Eagle on Verona Road while taking the P17's place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. The new route would also provide weekend service, and enable riders to connect to other routes.

“This creates an option throughout the day when (before) people only had the P17,” said Molly Nichols, community organizer for Pittsburghers for Public Transit. “If you're doing anything outside of normal commuting hours, it doesn't work.”

The P17 now operates from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. going into town, and 3 to 6 p.m. leaving town.

James Hanna, who lives off of Mt. Carmel Road, gets off work in East Liberty at about 2 p.m.

He said that he has to wait “45 minutes to an hour” before the P17 service starts.

“It makes for a long day,” Hanna said, adding that his wife drives him to Pittsburgh's Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood to catch the 82 bus into work at 4:40 in the morning.

“The new proposal is creating a lot more opportunity to connect,” Nichols said. “Overall this is a win for Penn Hills residents who had (accessibility needs).”

Nichols, whose work involves advocating greater access to public transit for those who live in affordable housing areas, said the proposals demonstrate the need for reform in public transit across the region.

“We really commend the Port Authority for being so transparent and inclusive. This is an opportunity to realize how much need is (in Allegheny County),” she said.

Samson X Horne is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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