New bus routes will take students to Waterfront and the South Side Works

by Jim Puls
[ITAL]Online Editor[ITAL]

Just in time for the 2005?2006 school year, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is planning major service changes to take effect on Labor Day. Of greatest interest to Carnegie Mellon students will be the new 59U service to the South Side Works via Oakland, and the two 61-series buses to Squirrel Hill and beyond.
Now, students will finally have a public transit option to the South Side Works, the one-year-old retail development featuring the popular restaurant franchise The Cheesecake Factory and a multi-screen cineplex, among many other stores. The 59U will stop at the development before serving Oakland on its way to the Waterfront after 5:30 pm on weekdays, and all day on weekends and holidays. According to Ron DaParma, a real estate writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the new Port Authority service is just a first step in increasing access to the complex. Hopefully, students will take advantage of the service; as Da-Parma said, ?the ridership needs to justify the expense.?
Justification should be easy, as many students have cited poor bus access as a reason for not patronizing the development. ?It would be an added convenience for students.... Bus service would make it much more accessible,? said Diana Miller, a second-year architecture student. Miller added that she would be likely to visit South Side Works much more often with the new bus service.
Most of the 59U?s service to Century III Mall on weekends will be discontinued, save five Saturday trips and three Sunday trips.
Students requesting more bus service to Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, and Homestead will be pleased with two new bus routes that the Port Authority is creating from the 61C. First, the 61D Summerset will follow the 61C route as far as Murray Avenue and Forward Avenue in Squirrel Hill before serving the new Summerset at Frick Park housing development. The 61F Homestead Park will follow the 61C route all the way to Homestead, before following the 53F route to Homestead Park.
Both of these routes will provide service to students trying to reach Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill, and the 61F will also serve those students who had used the old 61C to get most of the way to the Waterfront.
The 64A, which also travels from Squirrel Hill to the Waterfront, will no longer serve Highland Park or the Pittsburgh Zoo. It will discontinue most of its service to the Loew?s Cineplex at the Waterfront. Students who once took the 64A to Loew?s will now need to transfer to another bus, or else walk in order to get from stores at the Waterfront to the Loew?s theater.
Other routes for which students should replace their printed schedules include the 67A and 67F; the 71A, 71C, and 71D; and the 500 and 501.