Master Port Authority by afederoff

I know, that same old woe, Duquesne University students do not get to use their student IDs as bus passes while Pitt and CMU students experience that luxury. Over the years, I have seen students try to show their DU IDs to bus drivers, protests signed and the like, yet no action has been taken for reasons I am not educated on.

Though it is not free, I feel the Port Authority bus system in Pittsburgh is a must for students in the city. Because many of us do not have cars and though campus is beautiful, the bus system offers a great opportunity for students to get to know the city and take advantage of what Pittsburgh truly has to offer. However, a tricky question arises… how does it work?

No, I am not a master of the Port Authority bus system but I may be able to help clear a few things up.

  • The most basic thing to understand is the difference between Forbes and Fifth. These are both one-way streets; this much I am sure you know. However, here’s an easy way to know which street to pick up a bus on: if you’re going INto the city (a.k.a. downtown, a.k.a. Duquesne) you want to pick up a bus on Fifth because it has an ‘I’ in it for “in.” If you want to head OUT of town to Oakland, Squirrel Hill, the Waterfront etc. you want to pick it up on Forbes because it has an ‘O’ in it for “out.”
  • To get back to school from Oakland, the Waterfront or Squirrel Hill, the easiest thing to remember is the ones. Any 61 or 71 will drop you off at Fifth and Stevenson, with just a 3-minute trek up the hill to the residence area of campus. You can also pick up a 500, which will drop you off in the same location. I would steer clear of just hopping on a bus that reads “Downtown” because there is many areas it may drop you off, but if you are in desperate need of a bus it is usually a safe bet.
  • Try a transfer. Because, as Duquesne students, we do have to pay for the bus (just a small disadvantage in a universe of opportunities) this is a trick that many freshmen still haven’t figured out. Most bus trips cost $2.00 each way. However, you can get a transfer ($.75) and use this as a ticket for your return trip. While there is a time frame involved, in most cases a transfer gives you more than enough time for your trip.
  • If you are waiting for the bus at a popular stop, you may notice an orange sign under the usual blue “bus stop” sign. This is a great feature the city has for planning your ride. Simply text the name on the sign to the number 25252, and the system will return a text message with all the upcoming buses and departure times. This can be extremely useful for obvious reasons. If you’re feeling really ambitious, save the number and the name of the stop and you can wait for a bus without even leaving your room.

Remember, if you are traveling on a weekend, try the Loop Bus.

Good luck,

Alyssa

P.S. feel free to leave individual questions in comments.