Monday, October 02, 2006

Port Authority Continues to Rack 'n Roll

Watch a short video on how to use the racks.

Pittsburgh, PA – Port Authority has added four bus routes to its Rack ‘n Roll Program, continuing efforts to help make Pittsburgh more bike-friendly and public transportation more convenient.

Bicyclists can now load their non-motorized bikes aboard Port Authority’s 26A Ingram-Sheridan, 26D Chartiers City, 56C McKeesport-Lincoln Place and 59U South Side Works-Oakland-Waterfront buses, bringing to 12 the number of selected bus routes in the program.

Port Authority in 1999 permitted bicyclists throughout Allegheny County to take their bikes aboard the T and Monongahela Incline and in 2001 equipped 85 buses with bike racks serving eight routes: 11D Perrysville, 21A Coraopolis, 54C North Side-Strip District-Oakland-South Side, 71A Negley, 77D Highland-Friendship, 77F Morningside-Friendship, 77G Stanton Heights-Friendship and 500 Highland Park-Bellevue.

In partnership with Bike Pittsburgh, Sustainable Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh, Port Authority selected bus routes to be included in Rack ‘n Roll because they operated to or near local colleges and universities and popular biking destinations such as the Allegheny River Bike Trails, Schenley Park and Three Rivers Heritage Trails.

One of the new routes, 56C McKeesport-Lincoln Place, offers a transit connection to the Great Allegheny Passage Trail. This trail provides a direct bike connection from McKeesport to Cumberland, Md., with future plans linking it to Washington, D.C.

“With enthusiasts biking year-round, our bike-friendly vehicles allow us to be responsive to their needs while attracting new riders to the system,” said Port Authority Chief Executive Officer Steve Bland. “Our Rack ‘n Roll program goal is to help enhance the convenience and reliability of our services, strengthen our community partnerships, and make it possible for many in our region to reach several venues throughout Allegheny County using bikes and transit.”

The new bike racks are funded by a federal Transportation Enhancement Program grant provided to Port Authority from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Port Authority will expand Rack ‘n Roll early next year, taking the number of Port Authority buses equipped with bike racks from the current 158 to 350.

Scott Bricker, the executive director of bicycle advocacy and awareness group Bike Pittsburgh, said, “We are very pleased with the devotion Port Authority has shown towards making the Rack 'n Roll program a success. Programs like this do an incredible service to individuals who wish to combine modes of transportation and make Pittsburgh more bike-friendly. We look forward to our continued partnership in expanding Rack ‘n Roll."

Rack ‘n Roll information is available on Port Authority’s newly redesigned Web site, www.portatuhority.org, including a video demonstrating the ease of using a bike rack. Each rack is attached to the front of the bus and accommodates two bicycles. Unless accompanied by an adult, bicyclists must be aged 12 or older to use the bike racks. Information pamphlets are available on the Web site, buses and T and also in Port Authority schedule racks.

Customers wishing additional information should contact Port Authority Customer Service at (412) 442-2000 or the TTY number, (412) 231-7007, for the speech and hearing impaired.


Bus lines outfitted with racks:

EXISTING bus routes that have been re-outfitted with racks:
11D Perrysville
21A Coraopolis
54C North Side-Strip District-Oakland-South Side
71A Negley
77D Highland-Friendship
77F Morningside-Friendship
77G Stanton Heights-Friendship
500 Highland Park-Bellevue.

NEW bus routes that will be in service as of October 2nd:
26A Ingram-Sheridan (West End)
26D Chartiers City (West End)
56C McKeesport-Lincoln Place (Take this bus to get to the Great Allegheny Passage Trailhead)
59U South Side Works-Oakland-Squirrel Hill-Waterfront


IMPORTANT NOTE: If you experience any issues with the bus racks – if one happens to be broken or a bus on a rack-designated route doesn't arrive with a rack just follow these simple steps:
1) Please contact Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000
2) When you call, tell them the bus route, time and location of when you intended to board the bus (e.g. "the rack on the 54C route at 1:12 p.m. on South 18th Street at Carson Street...").
3) If you were able to obtain the four digit vehicle number, found on the back exterior or front interior of the bus, give that number to customer service as well.

Also, if you have a positive experience using a bus rack, call and tell your story