PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The new North Shore Connector is officially up and running.
The new T service between Downtown and the North Shore is getting its first real test today.
The new connector had its first rush hour test this morning and it appears to have gone pretty well.
There has been a steady stream of people at the Gateway Station and the cars have been pretty packed.
“It’s smooth, its relaxing, and dare I say it’s fun,” Robert Hester said.
“It’s really smooth, it’s really calm. You really have nothing to deal with,” R.J. Nesbitt said.
While some are already singing the new North Shore Connector’s praises, others aren’t as thrilled.
“Even though it’s designed nice and looks pretty and everything, it just doesn’t justify the money spent,” Brandon Hill said.
The 1.2-mile light rail cost more than $520 million to build. It travels from Downtown, under the Allegheny River to two stops on the North Shore.
One of the stops is next to PNC Park, while the other in between Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino.
The service is free to commuters for the next three years.
“I’ve been T hopping for the last two hours going from this station to the North Shore and Allegheny and back, not only because its free, but to just to get the feel of all the stations,” Hester said.
The Port Authority said service on the T extension has been problem free, the response has been positive and ridership is strong as far as walk-ons and commuters transferring from buses.
“I actually think it was better than what we expected. Obviously, with a new line, you are waiting for travel patterns to change, you are waiting to see if people acclimate themselves,” Chuck Rompala from the Port Authority said.
The Port Authority said it is anxious to see how packed the new stations get when there are big sporting events on the North Shore.