Transportation choices between inclines, bus cuts discussed on Mount
The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation has been talking to limousine, jitney, taxi, horse-drawn carriage and shuttle bus companies about the possibility of providing transportation between the two inclines along Grandview Avenue.
Every year there are about 400,000 to 500,000 visitors to the Duquesne Incline and about 750,000 visitors to the Monongahela Incline, Chris Beichner, MWCDC executive director, said at the organization's community forum meeting on Aug. 20. The two tourist attractions are located about one mile apart.
"Even some Pittsburghers don't know that there are two inclines, not just one," a lady said.
The MWCDC is considering the new transportation options as a way of attracting more visitors to local businesses near the Inclines.
The next step is to inform the interested transportation companies of the peak times for incline visits and then to try some test runs so probable profits can be estimated. The MWCDC also plans to meet with residents who live near the inclines to discuss any concerns about noise, odors and traffic back-up.
Mr. Beichner hopes to have a decision from the companies on the feasibility of the plans by spring.
The attendees heard about other transportation issues from the guest speaker, Deborah Skillings, community outreach coordinator for the Port Authority. She mentioned there was a public hearing that day to get public input on drastic route changes that may occur if additional funding is not secured. "There's a hole in the budget and it is not being filled," she said.
Mount Washington residents will already be coping with route changes starting on Sept. 5.
However the situation may get a lot worse if more changes are made in January due to reduced funding.
For at least the next four months the 41E Mount Washington bus will be replaced by two buses – the 40 Mount Washington and the 43 Bailey.
The 40 Mount Washington will travel from downtown and the South Hills Junction and go up Southern Avenue. It will no longer travel the length of Boggs Avenue.
However, the 43 Bailey will travel the length of Boggs and Bailey and go through parts of Allentown.
As of Jan. 9, unless funding is obtained, the 43 Bailey route will be eliminated and service on Saturday and Sunday for the 40 Mount Washington will also be terminated.
Other changes scheduled to start on Jan. 1 include fare increases. One-way adult fare in Zone One will go from $2 to $2.25. One-way adult fare for Zone Two will increase from $2.75 to $3. A weekly Zone One pass will increase from $20 to $22 and a monthly Zone One pass will increase from $80 to $90. The cost of a weekly Zone Two pass will be raised from $27.50 to $30 and the monthly Zone Two pass will go from $105 to $120.
The proposed service cuts also include reduced service for the 54C, 51 Carrick and 48 Arlington buses.
The deadline for the Port Authority's receipt of public comments is 4 p.m. Aug. 31.
"What can people do? Contact your state and county legislators," Ms. Skillings said.
For more information those who are concerned can call Port Authority customer service at 412-442-2000 or visit portauthority.org.
In other business, Mr. Beichner announced that the second annual MWCDC dinner will be held at 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Le Mont restaurant. Cost is $60 a person. Cocktail attire is requested. To reserve a seat call 412 481-3220, ext. 205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Beichner also mentioned he is arranging with a graphics design class to paint murals on properties along Grandview Avenue owned by developer Craig Cozza to make them look more attractive. He said he expects the students' work to start soon since the four month course will end in December.
Board member Tom Brady said he would circulate a petition to request a city public hearing on its policy regarding removing abandoned cars from the streets. He said he believed a police commander was stopping the towing as a cost saving move.
The MWCDC released its crime statistics for July. There were: 17 burglaries, 15 acts of criminal mischief, 21 reports of harassment, one rape, 15 thefts from automobiles and six thefts from persons.