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T Back Up & Running After Ventilation Problem Halts Service

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It was a frustrating commute this morning for people who use the Port Authority's trolley service.

Officials with the Port Authority say a ventilation system problem brought light rail service to a halt. It stranded many people on their way to work.

According to Port Authority spokesperson Jim Ritchie, T service was stopped around 9:30 a.m. as a safety precaution.

That's when the ventilation system in every Port Authority tunnel went down.

"Senior citizens going downtown; first time to the casino, inform us that we cannot get to the casino on the trolley," Bonnie Delong, a T rider, said.

Delong and her husband, like so many others, were headed from the halted trolleys to a waiting Port Authority road operations shuttle to complete their trip.

"Thank goodness we're senior citizens and we don't have a schedule, so we'll just play around Pittsburgh today," she added.

Working with a significantly more intense sense of urgency were Port Authority employees.

The main ventilation monitoring system in the South Hills failed, so each the ventilation system for each tunnel had to be manually operated.

"I'm planning on going to work in Market Square, but I guess you can't go there," said Porshe Thorhauer, another stranded T rider. "I guess I'll walk."

KDKA's John Shumway reports:

Regular service resumed at 11:45 a.m.

A bus shuttle had been operating between the First Avenue and Allegheny stations until service was restored.

There's no word yet on what caused the ventilation system to fail, but the Port Authority is working to figure that out.

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