ShareThis Page
Home

Struggles on the T line

| Monday, March 5, 2007

Almost 10,000 commuters found a new road to work this morning as the major portion of Pittsburgh's light-rail service closed for six months of construction.

Riders of the heavily traveled 42S South Hills Village line from Beechview caught shuttle buses to detour around the Palm Garden Bridge, which carries buses and T cars over Route 51. The Port Authority is spending $9.4 million to rehabilitate the bridge near the Liberty Tunnels.

Like most commuters this morning, Carrie Willkomm, 29, of Beechview complained of the inconvenience even though she knew about the changes ahead of time.

"This is a pain in the butt," Willkomm said. "I left my house about a half-hour early, because I had no idea how parking would be.

"To be honest, I'm still sort of confused," she said.

Willkomm said she lives nears the Fallowfield Station, where she could catch the 42F shuttle, but she drove 10 minutes to the Dormont Station to catch the 37D bus, which would drop her off closer to her work at Gateway Center.

Patti Rossi, 42, of Beechview, boarded the 42F at Fallowfield and said she was annoyed by the slow pace of the bus.

"It seems like this is going to take a lot longer every day because we have to go through the Liberty Tunnels. The light-rail is much faster," Rossi said.

Port Authority spokesman Bob Grove said ample notice has been given to commuters, but he expects a certain amount of confusion for the first few days of the new system.

The shuttle buses had an extra Port Authority employee on board to answer questions about transfers. The map in the Gateway Center station had been changed to reflect the 44S rail-shuttle.

Sheila Barry, 36, of Mt. Lebanon, said the morning commute was "a piece of cake," but she's worried about getting home later.

"I think I know where I'm going, but it might be a different story later on when it's darker," Barry said. "I hope the evening commute goes as smoothly, but I think I might be getting home late tonight."

Michael Dillon, 33, of Dormont, said he also had a smooth ride this morning.

"The only new thing for me is I have to really check the bus schedule," Dillon said. "I'm used to just getting to the station and waiting for the next train. The buses are a little more scheduled."

The Port Authority said almost 70 percent of the T's 25,000 daily riders use the Beechview line. That represents about 8,750 people, or about 17,500 roundtrips.


The Palm Garden transit bridge carrying the Beechview T line and South Busway lanes over Route 51 is closed to bus traffic.

The 42S South Hills Village via Beechview T line is shut down six months.

All South Busway buses will be detoured for eight months.

Rider options

The 44S temporary T shuttle will run on the Beechview line between Overbrook Junction and the Traymore stop. Riders may use it to transfer to the unaffected Overbrook T line or to two special bus routes.

The 37D special bus route will run nonstop from Dormont Station to Downtown at Liberty Avenue at Gateway No. 4, and Stanwix Street at Boulevard of the Allies for six months.

The 42F special bus route will serve T stops on Broadway Avenue in Beechview between Fallowfield Station and Neeld Avenue for six months. Riders should wait on the outbound side of the street. The bus will stop Downtown at Fifth Avenue and Ross Street and Forbes Avenue at the City-County Building.

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.

click me