Note: This is the fourth of a
6 part series that deals with the history of the Port Authority from the formation of PAT
in 1956 through current.
The next era of PAT covers
the 80's and was heralded in with the arrival of 126 GM RTS II transit coaches in a livery
reminiscent of the original 1964 livery as well as back to back fare increases. It was
also one of the busiest decades of PAT's history in terms of change as well as problems.
When the 126 new GM RTS II
buses (71 40' coaches and 55 35" coaches numbered
2800-2870 and 1400-1454) arrived,
they featured a few things unfamiliar to Pittsburgh bus riders. Primarily the side
destination sign was located by the front door and the familiar stop request cord was
replaced by a push strip. While promoted by the local papers as "Space Age" and
"Futuristic", many riders took an instant dislike to the new buses because of
the seating and lack of openable windows. The right side seating had risers every other
position which created a smaller seat area and they sat lower than on the other buses. The
lack of openable windows created a sauna effect on the bus when the A/C failed.
The buses came complete with
issues and problems for PAT. The first was that they used more fuel than the other buses
in the fleet did and during the first few months of operation, many were running out of
fuel when they were in service. Secondly, the rear bulkheads and engine frame mounts on
the bus cracked early on and after inspection, a good portion of the RTS fleet were pulled
from service until the items could be repaired.
The A/C on the RTS's were
insufficient for the cooling needed on the buses and frequently failed or caused the bus
to overheat. This was corrected, starting in 1985, with the replacement of the original
A/C with a Thermo-King cap (called an 04 Kit) which raised the condenser coils from the
radiator position to the more standard top/rear position. This also altered the appearance
of the buses as they no longer had a sloped back end but a square back end of later models
of RTS's. The unopenable windows on the RTS's were also replaced at this time with ones
that tilted open at the top. PAT had these new openable windows locked shut and only route
foremen and maintenance were able to open them.
Shortly after the arrival of
the new livery on the RTS's, PAT did an experimental livery on its coach 2500 that
mimicked the new livery. After receiving many positive responses from the public on the
new livery, PAT started repainting the rest of the buses in the new scheme, which some
have called the "Broad Red Stripe" since the red stripe in the front was much
wider than the red stripe on the original 1964 livery. Initially, only buses that were
rehabbed at Manchester received the new livery but after a few years, the individual
Divisions started painting the front ends on buses still wearing the original 1964 style
livery. This resulted in yet another new term for the Pittsburgh transit fan's lexicon,
the "Front End Paint Job" where only the front was done and from the first full
passenger window back was still original paint. Another variation on the livery was to
"black out" the window area on the repainted buses, to make it look more like
the RTS and Neoplan buses. This dramatically altered the appearance of the repainted buses
to make them appear more modern than they were. This variation was done to many buses
after 1984 that rolled out of Manchester. The individual Division front end paint jobs
didn't include this variation.
This situation resulted in
some odd looking equipment as many times, the original paint was badly faded and worn and
the new paint on the front only made the older paint stand out more. The process of
allowing the individual Divisions to do the front end paint jobs was stopped in 1983 after
2 buses were repainted, one of which was coach 2459 which was in a "Barney"
purple MOD livery and the other being coach 582 which should have been retired but was
pressed back in service to help with the coach shortages. 2459 was the straw that broke
the camels back at Manchester however as it looked extremely bad with the new livery on
the front and the purple back end and prompted Manchester to stop allowing the individual
Divisions from doing the painting. It also gave the talk show circuit a new topic to
discuss for weeks as well, PAT's problems.
PAT received an order of MCI
MC-9 buses (1930-1945) during 1980 as well. These were purchased when PAT was still able
to do charter service (charter service ended in 1984). The buses were a dramatic change
from the suburban style buses most were used to and many riders were glad when they had
one on their route. They were relatively problem free and kept in good shape by PAT. They
primarily ran on suburban and Red Flyer routes which were on the limited system-wide
destination sign which had these routes on them and allowed the buses to be shuffled
between garages easily without having to change out the signs.
Two fare increases occurred
in 1980. The first one saw the base fare being raised from 50 cents to 60 cents on March
1, 1980. On November 2 of the same year, the base fare again was raised up to 75 cents.
Needless to say, there was a noticeable effect in the ridership numbers with the fare
being raised twice in the same year and PAT received much criticism in the media and from
its riders for how they handled the back to back increases.
A major change in route
numbers occurred on many East End routes on February, 10, 1980. Seven routes still
maintained the original trolley route designations and these were changed to fit into the
bus route numbering scheme in anticipation of the East Busway. The routes maintained these
old route numbers originally to help smooth the transition from rail to bus back in the
60's since the transition involved weekend bus substitutions with normal rail service on
the weekdays. No immediate need was seen back then to change them after the transition was
over so they remained. In one case, the 87 Ardmore, the route name was changed as well
since the destination had not operated on the street indicated since the trolley days.
1980 also saw the birth of
the reverse flow bus lane through Oakland on Fifth Avenue. This reverse flow lane was a
greatly needed item to help with the traffic flow in the heavily congested Oakland area.
It came with some controversy however as critics quickly pointed out any accident or
mishap related to the reverse flow lane. The critics of the bus lane felt it was confusing
for the transient population of the University of Pittsburgh area but was generally
accepted by most once it started operation and dramatically decreased the time to go
through the area.
PennDOT funded special
service starting on March 3, 1981 for the Parkway East area. This was due to a massive
construction project that it was starting. 6 new routes, 10 Park-N-Ride lots and an
express train were funded for the project. The rider response was far less than
anticipated as within 4 months, the Parkway Express train was discontinued for lack of
ridership and the Parkway bus routes had minimal ridership.
PAT, in its tradition of
experimentation, rolled out the first of a completely remanufactured PCC car from
South Hills Junction shops for test runs in May of 1981. The $4.7 million dollar program
allowed for the literally building completely new PCC cars from the old framework of the
original 1700 series PCC cars. The rebuilt cars (4000 series) were needed to service the
portions of the rail line that weren't being rebuilt in the initial light rail project.
The "Valley Route" through Overbrook, Library and Drake had to use the PCC cars
since they would be unable to carry the much larger LRV cars that were on order for the
new system. As originally planned, 45 of the remaining 92 (cars owned as of May, 1981)
were to be rebuilt but due to underestimating the labor that would be involved as well as
other cost overruns, only 12 cars were rebuilt. Of these, all but two were planned to have
A/C but only one car, 4006, had an Sutrak roof top air conditioner installed with the
remaining 11 cars staying non air conditioned.
The Monongahela Incline was
closed in July of 1982 for an 8 month renovation. This renovation was a complete overhaul
of the incline down to and including the steel girders that held the tracks going up to
Mt. Washington. New incline cars were fabricated by PAT's maintenance department and the
stations were restored to their original 1870 appearance but allowed wheelchair access.
This was the first complete overhaul of this historic incline since 1935 when the incline
was switched from steam power to electric power. The original re-opening date of the Mon
Incline renovation had to be pushed back by a little as the new incline cars were built a
little to large by PAT and wouldn't fit in the stations. This issue was corrected by
trimming the size of the cars down slightly so they would fit.
The old familiar Cleveland
fare boxes met their end on the buses in 1982. New state of the art Duncan electronic
fare boxes were purchased, starting in 1981, to replace the old fare boxes for several
reasons. Primarily was that dollar bills continually clogged up the old boxes unless
people scrunched them up into little balls so they'd drop through. This created a very
time consuming problem once the fare box tills were emptied and the receipts of the day
sent off to be sorted and counted. The electronic fare boxes were to eliminate this problem
and pay off in better productivity, however, they resulted in more free rides than anyone
The Duncan fare boxes
continually malfunctioned while in service. PAT responded to the problem by issuing
envelopes to drivers to pass out for passengers to mail in their fares if the fare box
malfunctioned. As you can guess, this approach didn't work out very well. After several
years of working on them, the problems were slowly going away and the boxes became
somewhat reliable but still a problem so PAT ordered new GFI electronic fare boxes to
replace the Duncan boxes. The new GFI boxes were being installed starting around 1986 in
small groups. The Duncans lasted on some coaches into 1990. PAT also came up with a use
for the till boxes from the many old Cleveland fare boxes and that was the auxiliary
fare box. A funnel top was fabricated and welded to the top of the till and then the till
was padlocked onto the stanchion in the front of the bus. This helped with the revenue
situation and they are still used today when a fare box malfunctions. Streetcars continued
to use the old Cleveland boxes until the late 80's.
October 3, 1982 saw a
confusing triple play aimed at its riders with a fare increase, a restructuring of the
fare zone system and new transfer policies all taking place at the same time. The fare
zones were forced to be changed after a lawsuit by a public interest group. Zones were
reduced from 13 down to 10, the always confusing zone 1A was eliminated and transfers now
could now be used for a round trip. The base fare increased by 25 cents to $1 and
transfers went up to 25 cents as well. This fare increase was again met by much criticism
as it gave PAT the dubious distinction of having the highest fares in the Nation. The 1982
fare increase was a direct result of the elimination of Federal operating subsidies.
PAT had 57 of
series (1966 GM TDH4519) coaches rebuilt in 1981 & 1982 by an outside company. This
was a cost cutting move to help extend the life of the buses and help alleviate the bus
shortage it was currently experiencing from the older buses breaking down. The rebuilt
1100's were rather poorly done and began experiencing many problems a few years after they
were placed back in service. The rebuilt 1100's did manage to last until the mid 1990's
but they were much slower and more prone to breakdowns than the original, unrebuilt 1100's
(of which a few original 1100's outlasted some of the rebuilt 1100 coaches).
PAT turned to leasing buses
to help alleviate the bus shortage it was experiencing in addition to the rebuilding of
the 1100 series. Between April and June of 1982, 45 coaches were leased from MARTA in
Atlanta, SEPTA in Philadelphia and WMATA in Washington D.C. Only 42 of these leased
coaches ran for PAT however as one of the WMATA buses broke down in route to Pittsburgh
and two of the other WMATA buses required to much work to
get it to pass the State inspection. The 25 MARTA and 5 of the WMATA buses ran out of the
West Mifflin Division, and the 10 SEPTA buses ran out of Harmar. The remaining 2 WMATA
buses were assigned to East Liberty. An additional 22 leased buses arrived in September of
1982 to supplement service on the rail lines due to the light rail reconstruction project
which was started in 1980 but had progressed to the point that portions of the lines had
to be closed. These buses ran here into 1983 and were assigned to Collier.
The 22 buses that arrived in
September of 1982 were called "Generic Buses" as they were painted solid white.
Those buses were leased from a private company, Dickinson Sales and Service out of Anoka,
MN and consisted mostly of ex-TARC (Louisville KY) GM TDH5301's with one ex-PAT GM TDH5303
and one ex-TTC (Toronto ON) TDH5301.
All of the leased buses with
the exception of 1 had push style rear doors. The push doors, being an oddity to the
riders who were used to the driver controlled, air actuated doors, caused some problems as
people were unaware that they had to push the door to get off the bus. Many of the buses
had the word "pull" written on the outside rear doors since in the Downtown
area, riders were used to boarding from the rear. The only bus in all of the leases to
come in with air doors was a unique story.
Leased coach 1834, which came
to PAT with the September lease of 22 buses, turned out to be coach 2066, one of PAT's
original 1964 order that was originally leased by PAT to the Beaver Valley Motor Coach
Company and then sold to them for $1 when the company was going out of business. This bus
ran for Beaver Valley as coach 903 from 1971 to 1979. It was then sold to a Greenlawn
Transit Co which was a Columbus, OH operator and operated as coach #213. The bus went from
Greenlawn to Dickinson Sales and Service in 1981. Dickinson leased the bus to Energy
Express, an operator for the Knoxville Worlds Fair in 1982 and ran there as coach 1834.
After the fair, the bus sat until Dickinson leased the bus to PAT in September of 1982
where it retained the 1834 number. After 1834 completed its duties at PAT, it sat at the
Suburban Lines garage in Washington, PA for several months before it disappeared. Nobody
has been able to trace what happened to it after it left Washington, PA.
The 1834 story was somewhat
of an embarrassment for PAT with its coach shortage at the time. This was the second time
in just short period of time that buses it wrote off as junk came back to haunt them. The
other incident involved the transferring of several of the older 500 series coaches to the
Cambria County Transit Authority (CCTA) in Johnstown, PA as Johnstown needed buses and the
retired 500 series buses that were sent were deemed unusable in PAT's operation due to
their age. In a newspaper interview with the Pittsburgh Press, the Executive Director of
the CCTA made mention of the ex-PAT buses they had and how they ran exceptionally well
with minimal maintenance needed for well over 2 years. This occurred during the height of
PAT's coach shortage and the news was greeted less than enthusiastically by the PAT
Starting back in 1980, the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was starting to look towards a Statewide bus purchase. As the
purchase would be similar to the consortium purchase of articulated coaches back in 1979,
it took some planning to coordinate due to the different specifications that each system
required. Bids were advertised and Neoplan USA won the bid to build 1,000 buses for the
State in late 1981. This order was the largest single order ever placed in the history of
transit. AMCAP's coach 3500 was part of the 1,000 bus order.
As part of the agreement to
obtain the order between Neoplan and the State, Neoplan agreed to build a manufacturing
plant in Pennsylvania to build the buses. The plant was built but due to the timeframe
involved, it wasn't able to build the PennDOT order in Pennsylvania. The 1,000 bus order
was built at Neoplan's main plant in Lamar, CO and the PA plant became a service and parts
facility for Neoplan.
PennDOT based the split of
the order on commitments of the various transit systems across the State to come up with
the money. Some of the systems that originally committed to the purchase pulled out and
their buses were taken by other systems in the State. PAT's allocation from this large
order was 410 buses with 45 being 35' and 375 being 40' coaches. The PennDOT order was
called "Pennliners" even though they were the standard AN435 & AN440 coaches
that Neoplan offered normally. As delivered, the buses came complete with a
"Pennliner" badge attached to the front dash. Coaches 3500 through 3512 were
built in 1982 with the remainder, including 1600-1644, being built in 1983. Coach 3500,
which is in the AMCAP collection, was the PAT prototype for the remaining 409 coaches and
had some noticeable differences in how it was set up. This coach was used to look over
what would be built and allow PAT to specify any last minute changes it felt were needed.
These new buses had problems
as well and further added to the coach issues PAT was already dealing with. Almost
immediately, PAT was having problems with the doors and windshield wipers. One side of the
front or rear door had the tendency to get stuck in the closed position. Sometimes one
side of the door would lose air pressure and pop open while in motion. The rear doors also
had a tendency to pop open under full air pressure, as like when the door control was
moved to open them at a stop, when the bus was in motion. The wipers routinely would get
stuck. After several months, the electronic destination signs began to fail. Garbled
readings and wrong displays became almost normal. As PAT never abandoned the old window
cards for route identification, these were the only way to tell what route was what for
many years since people began to seriously distrust any destination sign reading.
The most critical issue with
the 1983 Neoplan's however was that they had a problem with the frame that allowed water
to collect in key areas of the frame which resulted in the buses rusting out prematurely.
Again, PAT was faced with yet another full fleet failure. With the 1975 Flxibles almost
all out of service, the 1960's era buses failing, and problems with the other buses in the
fleet, red-lined buses again were being sent out in force to try and keep service. This
problem, as well as some initial teething problems with the 1980 RTS II's, were primary in
allowing many older buses to remain in service long after they were to be retired.
Other systems involved in the
purchase were also having problems with the frames on their buses and the body rotting
out. These systems were smaller and had a better spare bus ratio so they were able to keep
up on the problems. SEPTA didn't appear to have as much of a problem with the 1983 order
however. The majority of the issues seemed to be with systems west of the Allegheny
Mountains where heavily salted roads are normal in winters. Years of finger pointing by
both PAT and Neoplan eventually resulted in an settlement that occurred in 1989 after
Neoplan agreed to a cash payment and the rebuilding of a number of the buses for PAT.
1983 also saw the arrival of
30 additional M-A-N articulated coaches (3050-3079). These coaches were similar to the
1979 order but had a tapered rear section and a turbocharged 6 cylinder M-A-N engine. A
more standard PAT style seating arrangement was used as well. Unlike with the 1979 order,
these buses were initially all assigned to East Liberty for the then soon to open East
Busway. The 1979 order that was at East Liberty was split between Harmar and West Mifflin.
Some of the 1983 order of M-A-N coaches eventually were disbursed to Harmar and West
Mifflin after several years.
Additional suburban coaches
arrived in 1984. These were similar to the earlier MC-9 order but built by MCI's
subsidiary, TMC and had a larger, full sized electronic destination sign and a 6V-92TA
Detroit Diesel engine as opposed to the original MCI order which had an 8V-71N engine.
These buses were used to replace the remaining GM suburban coaches. Only a few of the
GM's, including 1985 which is preserved by AMCAP, survived for a few more years due to the
ongoing coach shortage.
The "Port" in Port
Authority, the Waterways Division, and was the PAAC's original mission, was eliminated in
September of 1983 in a cost cutting move. While not very well known by most, the Waterways
Division was responsible for waterway issues in Allegheny County. The popular Three Rivers
Regatta can be traced directly back to PAT's Waterways Division and its Director, Edwin
Beachler, who also was largely responsible for many of the ideas utilized by PAT in the
70's to boost ridership. The Waterways Division only had 2 people that were assigned to
the area for many years.
In keeping with the the busy
year of 1983, the 6.8 mile East Busway was officially opened in February. This busway,
planned at the same time as the South Busway, was different in terms that it was went
through a heavy ridership corridor so more passengers would be utilizing the busway along
its length. The South Busway was aimed more at allowing buses to bypass traffic with
little passenger flow along the busway. The Easy Busway was built at the cost of $113
million and was designed in such a manner that light rail could eventually be added to it
without having to replace the entire road.
The success of the East
Busway caught PAT a little off guard due to the recently declining ridership. Even with
the new EBA route which ran every 4 minutes during peak periods and which served the
busway exclusively, ridership increased on the East Busway routes to the point that during
rush hour, people would have to wait as filled to capacity buses passed them up. Within a
week of the route being initiated, the EBA route became the most heavily used route in the
The East Busway was only
partially built when it opened in February of 1983. The original plans called for an 8
mile busway which ran to Edgewood. As built, it ran only to Wilkinsburg but planning
continued on the missing link of the East Busway to Edgewood (as well as part of the
60-mile plan to further extend it to Rankin). On January 15, 1984, the East Busway was
officially renamed as the Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway. In addition, additional
reverse flow bus only lanes were instituted for the East Busway routes in the Downtown
area shortly after the opening of the new road.
PAT made another major
adjustment to the fare zone network on July 1, 1984 eliminating the recently revised 10
zone system down to a more manageable 5 zone system. This change was made to help generate
ridership which had steadily been falling since the two 1980 fare increases and the 1982
fare increase. A minor change to the transfer privileges was also made by requiring the
rider to surrender the transfer and repurchase it if they wish to continue a trip. In what
was beginning to be another PAT trend (complicating the simple), they complicated the new
5 zone system by having some routes utilize sub zones which acted like the old zone 1A
PAT created a citizens
advisory board in 1984. This board, known as the Allegheny County Transit Council, was set
up to provide additional input on future plans as well as current services. They also make
suggestions and comments on service out of the various divisions. While the group has no
clout in terms of making policy, PAT utilizes the groups input to help fine tune and
improve transit plans and services in the County.
In an attempt to save
money, PAT closed Harmar and Ross Divisions on the weekends starting on
August 25, 1985. Weekend Harmar routes were run out of East Liberty Division
while the weekend Ross routes were split between East Liberty and Collier
Divisions*. The weekend closures caused some discontentment with PAT's union
who claimed PAT wouldn't save much if any money by the weekend closures of 2
garages. The weekend closures only lasted a few months primarily due to the
Union being correct and in fact, it ended up costing PAT more money to close
the divisions on weekends than it would to just keep them open. The only
consolation of the weekend closings was that it allowed the two garages to
catch up on the maintenance backlog.
In 1986, PAT again bought
more buses from Neoplan. At the time, PAT threw the bids out as they were determined never
to buy another Neoplan product after the problems they had with the 1983 order. They
readvertised the bids and Neoplan again won. PAT was going to throw the bids out again but
the threat of legal action forced PAT to award the bus order to Neoplan. What resulted
from awarding the bid to Neoplan was one of the best orders of transit buses that PAT had
received since 1971.
The 60 bus order (3900-3959)
had the frame issue that plagued the 1983 order corrected. These buses also had a
different engine arrangement utilizing a 6V-92TA Detroit Diesel engine and a T-Drive
transmission. The only problem the 3900 series seemed to have early on was that they
tended to throw belts off the engine pulleys and then overheat. This problem was soon
corrected and then the 3900 series performed quite well with minimal problems. This series
also lacked the major door and wiper issues of the 1983 order.
This 3900 series as well as
the 1983 articulated and 1984 TMC's had a different destination sign than the 1983
Neoplans had. Due to the problems with the early Luminator signs, PAT switched to Vultron
signs as its standard. These signs worked well at first but over time, the signs faded
out and became difficult to read. The problems with garbled readings were being corrected
on the 1983 Neoplans and by 1988, they were all functioning pretty well. The 1986 order
also placed the side destination sign back to its normal Pittsburgh position of being by
the center door and had, a then unique feature for this area, a rear route number sign.
The 1983 Neoplan and 1983 M-A-N orders had the side destination signs by the front door as
with the 1980 RTS's.
Perhaps the biggest event in
this era was the opening of the new Downtown subway on July 3, 1985, bringing a close to
an idea that had been talked about since 1918. Various subway proposals were done
throughout the years, including an ambitious rapid transit plan written up in 1923 which
included a multi-level subway beneath Downtown. The new subway was a 1-mile, 3-stop loop
which connected to the light rail system in the South Hills. The building of the subway
brought torture to almost all people who worked or had to go through town. With roads
closed, sidewalks closed and other inconveniences, bus routes were constantly on detour
while in the Downtown area. The Subway utilized for a part of its length, an old railroad
tunnel that went underneath the city. The Subway was designed with a spur that connected
it to the Penn Park Station along the East Busway through part of the old railroad tunnel.
This spur track was single track due to a major support beam for the US Steel Building
(USX Tower) being in part of the tunnel. The problem of having a single track was a major
detriment to anything PAT tried for utilizing the link between the subway and the East
Busway since PAT opened the Penn Park Station in 1988.
The Subway came as a result
of the Early Action Program changes that PAT was forced to make after the Skybus plan fell
through. Along with the subway, a good portion of the South Hills light rail system was
rebuilt from the ground up. This included, new track, overhead, stations, Mt. Lebanon
tunnel, new cars and a new maintenance and storage facility near the South Hills Village
Mall. The line went from the South Hills Village Mall to Downtown via a portion of the old
36 Drake and the 42/38 Mt. Lebanon-Beechview line. Construction on the new subway started
on January 4, 1982 and lasted into early 1985. During this time the tunnel bypass route,
the former 49 trolley line, was rebuilt to allow an emergency route around the Mt.
Washington Transit Tunnel. This line became double track along its entire length except
at the ramp to the LRT bridge because Conrail refused to allow a ramp that was wide enough
for 2 tracks to pass over top its rail line.
New Light Rail Vehicles for
the rebuilt line and subway began to arrive in 1984. 55 Siemens-Duewag U3 cars were
assembled at Blaw-Knox Equipment Division of White Consolidated Industries in Blawnox, PA.
Each full car of the $53.2 million dollar order consisted of 2 halves which were joined
together at the articulation joint and then trucked on roads from Blawnox to the South
Hills Village yards. While undergoing testing, three car trains were a common sight but in
revenue service, PAT never runs more than a two car train. These cars were unable to be
used immediately, even after the subway was opened, because the Beechview portion of the
new line was still under construction and wouldn't open until 1987. The Library portion of
the line was rehabilitated and reopened in 1988. Plans were to eventually rebuild the
Library line to the LRT standards but due to the costs involved, the temporary
rehabilitation of the line was all that was done.
A large change in operations
occurred on November 22, 1987 when PAT abandoned service on portions of 17 routes that
operated outside of Allegheny County and eliminated 1 route. This was done as a cost
cutting move as these outer portions of the 17 effected routes saw little ridership. The
5F Valley Heights route was eliminated due to it virtually paralleling the 5E route for
most of the route. In this instance of route cuts, PAT had to petition the PAPUC for
approval as the routes were outside of the County.
1989 saw the arrival of
25th anniversary. System-wide celebrations occurred with special events highlighting the
history of PAT. During most of the 80's, PAT was rather reluctant to look back at
past. A small historic fleet assembled during the 70's was pared down to one coach, 775
(which is in AMCAP's collection). Much of the paper history had been thrown out or given
away to various individuals and organizations during the 80's. For the anniversary
celebration, much of the history had to be borrowed back from the people that had obtained
it so that it could be displayed. Shortly after the anniversary ended, 775 was put up for
bid and the founding member of AMCAP, Charles Rompala, fought to acquire the bus to keep
it in Pittsburgh.
Planning was also underway in
the 80's to start rehabilitating its various operating Divisions. By the end of 80's,
three of the garages were at the 20 year old mark and the needed equipment to maintain the
buses (hydraulic lifts, wash racks, etc) were just as old. As all of PAT's Divisions were
built in a 6 year period, they all were in about the same shape and need of work. PAT was
also starting to put the planning of the West Busway into the high priority status by the
end of the 80's era.
Bringing the 1980's to a
close, a set of public hearings were being held during the last months of 1989 for another
fare increase. Approval was made by the Port Authority Board of Directors for the increase
in fares from $1 to $1.10 to take effect on January, 1 1990. New multi-zone passes and
discounted zone 1 ten-trip tickets were also introduced at this time which helped lessen
the impact of the new fare increase that welcomed in the next decade of PAT's history.
Tokens were also approved for use but were only good for the Mon Incline. The tokens were
notable as PAT has historically, and to this day, has shied away from tokens as a method
of paying fares. PAT also increased the network of pass & ticket sales outlets and
made purchasing tickets and passes by mail possible. The weekly permit was also eliminated
by making it a weekly pass to eliminate the 10 cent cash drop.
The 80's decade was a very
active period for PAT. Although there was no discernable differences between the 80's and
most of the 90's in terms of philosophy, the 80's era was a much more active period in
terms of change.
* Routes split during the 1985 weekend garage closure of Harmar and Ross Divisions:
East Liberty ran on weekends:
Ross routes - 6A, 6B, 6C, 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E, 11F, 16C, 16D, 16F, 54C
Harmar routes - 1A, 1B, 1D, 1E, 1F, 5A, 5B, 5E, 5F, 5G, 77A, 77D, 91A
Collier ran on weekends:
Ross routes - 16A, 16B, 17B, 21A, 24A