Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter What?

It’s hard to miss signs of the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pens and Washington Capitals taking place in just over 11 days.  I for one am ecstatic; between the Alumni game and Classic itself, this an exciting time for hockey in Pittsburgh. 

How is this related to transit you ask?  Well, check out this segue. 

The only organization in Pittsburgh that doesn’t seem to know there is an event at Heinz Field on the 1st of January is the Port Authority.  I understand they’ve been pre-occupied, with the budget crisis, but still, this is a HUGE event for Pittsburgh.  Unlike your average Steeler game (which has a number of transportation options to choose from), a lot of people will be from out of town.  A lot of those same people will be staying in City and area hotels and will be looking for a good way (other than paying $100-$500 to park within a mile of the stadium) to get to the stadium. 

If you look at the Port Authority’s website, you’d think that nothing is going on.  A spin of the ole' trip calculator between anywhere and Heinz Field reveals no special service options, detours or announcements in conjunction with the Winter Classic.

 Meanwhile, a casual search of the internets revealed about 30 different forum threads on various websites from out of towners looking for ways to use public transportation to get to the game. 

This event has already been great for Pittsburgh.  We, as a city look awesome in everything from the advertisements to HBO’s series "24/7".  Pittsburgh likens itself to a progressive and “greening” city committed to livability and sustainability.  That image doesn’t really jive with a transportation authority who, from all appearances, is not concerned with providing quality transportation alternatives to driving for arguably the biggest sporting event in Pittsburgh this year. 

It seems that to the Port Authority, it’s just another weekend holiday on an un-remarkable winter day.  

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