In the finest traditions of wordsmithing, the Recently re-built Greyhound Bus Station was re-christened as the "Grant Street Transportation Center".
Really???? Balderdash!!!! I think the Grant Street "We have a bunch of forms of transportation kinda close" Center would be more accurate. I'm not knocking the fact that they re-built the Greyhound station, it was old, dirty, and kind of smelled. But let's call it what it is, a bus station. This is Pittsburgh politics at its worst, we call something different than what it is, and then cite it as an example of how we're "moving in the right direction", when in reality little has changed aside from some hollow words.
It's just another opportunity lost, or is it? There are several forms of transportation in close proximity; you've got the bus station, Amtrak, The T, and the busway. In fact Amtrak was originally supposed to be included, but for some unknown reason, was not. In my mind, you've already spent $40 million to re-build the thing, why not spend the extra few million (a small amount in comparison to the overall cost) to bring those things together, and actually MAKE it a transportation center. You're a few enclosed walkways from that being the case.
First things first, un-abandon the Penn Park branch of the T. The Port Authority said it was too expensive to operate. I agree, only because the manner in which they operated it was foolish. Have certain trains from the Overbrook line and certain trains from the Beechview line run to Penn Park instead of Gateway Center. Bring back that easy transfer to the busway, Greyhound, Amtrak, or to a potential commuter line. Additionally connect the busway and T stop to the Transportation Center and Convention Center via an elevated walkway, which was supposed to be included in the NSC project but was not.
Step Two, connect the railroad to the Transportation center. Again, one covered walkway could bring passengers from the station platforms to the transportation center. Right now, the Amtrak station feels more like a remodeled basement than a gateway to a city. Imagine if Pittsburgh sees increased Amtrak service under Obama's plans for expanded passenger and HSR service. Which would you rather people to first see when they enter Pittsburgh? This, or This?
Additionally, if any form of commuter rail becomes reality, again this is a perfect opportunity to integrate it into a real bona fide transportation center. Current plans call for the operation to either terminate in the strip district or at Penn Station. Either way it could be made to work (if the Strip option was chosen, the tracks could run right up to the Convention Center and an elevated walkway could be used to connect the the platforms to the transportation center).
As it stands now, there is no reason for most people to enter this $40 million "transportation center" unless you're parking there or taking a Greyhound bus. Give people a reason. For once, make a whole hearted attempt at integrating transportation modes. Don't make this new building a bus station with a fancy name.
Pittsburgh Street Lights Update
6 years ago