I’m calling this The Wedding edition, make sure to read while listening to Pachelbel’s cannon. The TDP changes finally his my routes, and all kinds of upheaval followed.
Old buses! The changes may have happened, but we have the same buses we always have. It does seem though, that with this round of changes, the signs have been up to date. When the first two rounds of bus changes went through, it was more common to see the old route names than the new, so it is nice to see this working in the rider’s favors.
The routes of course. I’ve lost service to my neighborhood, but I’m adjusting to the Park ‘n Ride live (more on that in the next section as well). Part of me likes it, I have more options to get home (now that the buses are showing up when they are supposed to, thanks @PGHtransit) and if I need to run out after work, I’m more prone to get things done since I’m at my car already.
The new routes however, came at a time which has really messed some things up downtown. With the construction at Penn Station, riders who normally use those stops are now crowded onto Grant Street. This minor change has created some big problems. I don’t know if it is a combination of the displaced riders, or a change in the EBO/EBA/EBS schedule, but I feel for those riders. They need more buses, badly. We’ll watch three buses in a row go past on their way out of town, filled to the brim and unable to pick anyone else up. And just in case PAT is reading, from my unscientific observations, we need more G buses as well.
Information. Not was I was expecting to write for this section at all. Before my bus route disappeared I tried to find out about the Park ‘n Ride I would be using. It was already pretty full to begin with, and then with the consolidation of three routes, including one very popular, but very unofficial Park ‘N Ride, I knew we would be spilling out of the spaces marked for us.
I tried contacting PAT, which offered up no response, although one of my drivers said to park wherever, it didn’t really matter (he was fairly accurate). So instead, I called the mall, where, completely unexpected, I received a call back from the General Manager. He was curious about the changes and I explained what was going to happen, and he very calmly suggested that we use the rows nearby, stating the only time we should have a problem was Christmas. Having worked at Monroeville Mall through 7 years (and Christmas seasons) in high school and college breaks, I knew to expect that though.
So a huge thank you to the staff and management of Monroeville Mall, you came through when PAT didn’t!
Stranded riders. The first couple days, driving back from the Park ‘n Ride, seeing passengers waiting at bus stop signs for buses that will never come, it was sad. The only phrase I could think of is “The bus doesn’t come here any more.” I guess I never realized how many stops people used.
I’ve seen some of the people from my old route on the bus now, some I know take a different route altogether. It’s nice to see a familiar face, and we can smile knowingly at each other, understanding that this isn’t the best outcome, but at least it’s something. It’s nice that the “Survivors” can still find each other.
Two Park ‘n Rides closed in Monroeville, and that is sad as well. I don’t have much to add, but felt it should be mentioned.
Have the changes been all bad? No, but they have been far from perfect. I still find it hard to believe that the company that did the research for the new routes really did much work. The outcry from the lack of service on the West Busway turned out to be a foreshadow to what would happen to the East Busway. My route is overflowing, I normally stand on my way home now. Whoever PAT hired, they spent too much money, guess that doesn’t help their current financial situation either.