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Port Authority deals with rider concerns

| Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009

Calls to the Port Authority of Allegheny County's customer service line had been coming in heavier than usual today from riders confused about where buses were running during the Group of 20 summit and whether detours were leaving some stops unserved.

"Our operators are well-trained to get around any temporary problems, but in a detour sometimes stops get missed." said Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie.

Buses from the south were stopped briefly early this morning when several cars tried to go through the checkpoint at the Smithfield Street Bridge and were turned away. That created a backup at the checkpoint that lasted 30 to 45 minutes, he said.

About 9 a.m., tour buses carrying journalists from Mellon Arena to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center choked a checkpoint for vehicles coming from the east, after security officials boarded each bus to check reporters' credentials one by one. The delay created 15- to 30-minute backups for Port Authority buses, Ritchie said.

With ridership on the T predicted to be low and all Downtown stations except First Avenue shut down for the summit, Port Authority is running single-car trains instead of the double cars used during normal weekday rush hours.

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