PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Regional Transit is continuing its plans for a bus rapid transit project.
But there are concerns some people may get left behind with route changes. For Amalia Tonsor, the P3 bus line is a lifeline.
"I have ridden the P3 every day for the last year," she said Monday.
Tonsor did the math and found she spent the equivalent of more than two weeks on the line last year. The Swissvale resident went to classes at Pitt and clinical at the hospital. Now she uses it to get to her nursing job.
"There are so many kinds of people who rely on these bus lines," Tonsor said.
Several people responsible for running our health care juggernauts and universities utilize the public transit line. According to the PRT Bus Rapid Transit Plan, the Swissvale, Hamnett, and Roslyn stops in the Edgewood/Swissvale area would no longer be serviced by the P3 bus.
For riders of those stops, they will either take another bus or have to transfer.
"Asking people to transfer after a 12-hour shift and wait for two buses is not equitable and it's not realistic," Tonsor said.
The PRT is in the process of starting the project with the goal of completion being 2025. The goal is to improve transit and be more reliable. It said in an email to KDKA-TV, it is aware of concerns about cutting stops from the line and wants to continue evaluating the best way to serve riders.
"These are not the kinds of changes that are really going to be the building the public transit system that we want to see," Tonsor said.
Pittsburghers for Public Transit says it wants to make sure projects benefit all riders.
"With transit projects, it really is a give and take and making sure the changes make sense from a rider perspective," Cheryl Stephens with Pittsburghers for Public Transit said.
The PRT said there are other routes that will become part of the system, including the 61A and 61B which will serve people in those areas. Those will both offer riders access to Oakland from the Edgewood/Swissvale area.
Currently, public comment is still being taken for the project. The PRT said it's possible for plans to change based on community needs.
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