PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It has been a long time coming, but the North Shore Connector project is drawing to a close; and for those hoping for a free ride, you will be able to get one.

The Port Authority was looking for someone to sponsor free rides, and they did not have to look very far because the trolley basically rolls right up to both sponsors’ doors.

When the trains start rolling on March 25, they’ll go from Gateway Center in Downtown Pittsburgh all the way to PNC Park, and ultimately, Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino, and it won’t cost you a dime.

“I use the shuttle bus now, but it only runs until 9:30; so sometimes, if maybe I would miss the shuttle, it would be a great alternative instead of walking all the way over,” said Nicole Gordon who commutes from Zelienople.

Gordon is one of thousands who park in the North Shore commuter parking lots every day. Some choose to walk the rest of the way to work, but she takes a shuttle.

But starting next month, commuters get a choice.

“I like the shuttle, but sometimes I miss it; so having the T would be great,” said Pam Jantsch, who commutes from Beaver County.

The North Shore Connector from downtown will be free to riders for the first three years.

Finishing touches are being put on the North Side station near PNC Park.

Allegheny Station sits in the shadows of Heinz Field not far from the Rivers Casino. The Steelers and the casino will foot the bill.

The price tag of the North Shore Connector project is more than half a billion dollars.

Trains will run from downtown and under the Allegheny River, thus opening up the sports, dining and entertainment options of the North Shore.

It’s still a busy construction zone now, but in just about a month all the fences will come down and the barricades will be gone. That’s when the free fare zone will be open.

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