Port Authority of Allegheny County provides public transportation services throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
The Authority's 2,400 employees operate, maintain and support bus, light rail, incline and paratransit services for approximately 230,000 daily riders.
The Authority has enacted a series of changes since 2006 aimed at making Port Authority more efficient, transparent, accountable and reliable.
These changes include the Authority's first top-to-bottom restructuring of its routes, implementation of modern fare collection equipment and significant revision of staff levels and benefit packages.
More changes are either underway or in the planning stages, including implementation of smart card technology, real-time service status and on-street bus rapid transit.
Port Authority is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors – unpaid volunteers who are appointed by the Allegheny County Executive, leaders from both parties in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate, and the Governor of Pennsylvania. The Board conducts a monthly public meeting.
Port Authority's budget is funded by fare and advertising revenue, along with money from county, state and federal sources. The Authority's finances and operations are audited on a regular basis, both internally and by external agencies.
Port Authority’s fleet includes about 700 buses and 83 light rail vehicles (LRVs). The Authority also owns two inclines. Port Authority operates the Monongahela Incline, which not only serves daily commuters but is a popular tourist attraction. The Authority leases the Duquesne Incline to the nonprofit Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline.
Port Authority also sponsors ACCESS, a door-to-door, advance reservation, shared-ride transportation program that primarily serves seniors and persons with disabilities.
Port Authority has made great strides in modernizing its bus fleet, with the goal of reducing the average vehicle age to 6 years. The Authority also operates 32 hybrid diesel-electric buses.
Port Authority began serving the community in March 1964. The Authority was created by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1959, which authorized the consolidation of 33 private transit carriers because many were failing financially. The consolidation included the Pittsburgh Railways Company along with 32 independent bus and inclined plane companies.
By combining fare structures and centralizing operations, Port Authority established the first unified transit system in Allegheny County.
In 2012, Port Authority served nearly 220,000 riders on an average weekday. Total passengers for the 2012 calendar year totaled almost 65 million. A closer look at the ridership data for 2012:
- Average weekday ridership systemwide: 219,324
- Average weekday bus riders: 184,104
- Average weekday T riders: 27,144
- Average weekday ACCESS riders: 6,085
- Average weekday Mon Incline riders: 1,991
- Average Saturday ridership systemwide: 100,141
- Average Sunday ridership systemwide: 61,832
Port Authority owns and maintains an extensive network of transit properties and facilities throughout Allegheny County. This includes:
- Three busways: The 4.3-mile South Busway, the 9.1-mile Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway and the 5-mile West Busway.
- Park and Ride: Lots are located throughout Allegheny County with many locations along busways and T lines. We offer 53 lots with nearly 13,000 spaces.
- Light Rail: The T is a 26.2-mile light rail system that runs from the North Shore and Downtown Pittsburgh through Pittsburgh's southern neighborhoods and many South Hills suburbs.
- HOV: The Wabash HOV provides a quick connection for motorists traveling between the Downtown/South Side area and the Route 51 corridor.
- Monongahela Incline: The incline is a popular tourist attraction that also serves daily commuters. The upper station is in the city's Mt. Washington neighborhood and the lower station is located at Station Square, where riders may transfer to the T.
Economic development support
Port Authority plays an increasingly significant role in economic development efforts and community vitality within Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County's communities.
Most recently, light rail service was extended to the city's North Shore in March 2012. This rapidly developing area is home to the Carnegie Science Center, the Community College of Allegheny County, Del Monte Foods, Equitable Resources, PNC Park, Heinz Field, Rivers Casino and several other existing and proposed cultural, business and residential destinations. Read more about the North Shore Connector project.
Our Downtown subway stations have benefited major employers seeking direct access to commuter transportation on weekdays and weekends. The areas surrounding Negley and East Liberty busway stations have also seen growth and revitalization. And more development proposals are emerging at other locations along our T lines.
As the community relies on Port Authority to make improvements, we continue to seek ways to improve how we serve riders and the community.
Growth and improvement
In 2010, Port Authority began instituting route changes under its Transit Development Plan (TDP), the result of more than two years of planning and feedback from thousands of riders, all with the aim to make transit smarter and more efficient.
Allegheny County has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, but prior to the TDP, Port Authority did not mirror that transformation. The TDP has helped bring the system into the 21st Century by consolidating underused services, adding new routes in growth areas and adopting a new route naming system to make our service easier to understand.
More improvements are in the works, including bus stop consolidation and streamlined Downtown circulation. Additionally, a coalition of city and county government, community organizations and major institutions has partnered with Port Authority to begin exploring the possibility of on-street bus rapid transit for the Downtown-Oakland corridor, where revitalization of the Uptown area has become a regional focus.
In 2012, Port Authority also introducted the ConnectCard smart card system to make fare payment easier and more convenient for riders. ConnectCard rollout continues into 2013 and this year will also bring the first stages of a new real-time service information system.
To deliver outstanding transportation services that connect people to life
To become America's premier public transportation company