PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Whether it’s two stories up at the Allegheny Station or from two stories down at North Side or Gateway, a disabled escalator can be disheartening.
“So, Gateway, North Side and Allegheny, we’ve had maybe an abnormally high numbers of service calls at those location as opposed to anything else in our system,” said Jim Ritchie, Port Authority’s spokesman.
A few issues you write off to newness and working out the bugs, but this has gone beyond anything that could be considered normal.
“Maybe three days out of five they’re working,” said one trolley rider.
“It’s not the actual escalator; it’s not how it was installed, it’s the safety specific aspects of the equipment,” says Ritchie.
The new escalators and elevators of the North Shore Connector fall under new federal guidelines for more sensitive settings of those sensors.
“Those sensors seem to be very sensitive,” Ritchie said.
And they’re shutting down the escalators at the drop of a hat.
“The one on the North Side, it’s broken,” said another trolley rider. “I guess it’s under maintenance.”
Too much weight on any one area of the escalator, it shuts down; a twig in the mechanism, it shuts down.
And right now, neither the contractor, Schindler, nor the Port Authority technicians have the formula to solve the problem.
“The safety aspect is something that’s going to be ongoing until we find that right balance between what is required by law and allows the equipment to actually work day in, day out so riders can use it in and out of the stations,” Ritchie said.