PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A major change is coming to the parking landscape of Pittsburgh.

There has been a lot of talk about the opening of the North Shore Connector on March 25, but what has remained in the shadows is the impact it’s going to have on parking in the Golden Triangle.

The free ride from Pittsburgh’s North Shore is going to open up a brand new parking alternative for daily commuters.

Once it’s operating, the” T” will provide service free from the North Shore to the Gateway, Wood Street, Steel Plaza and First Avenue “T” stations.

In essence, that opens up the entire core of the Golden Triangle to a free ride from the North Shore.

Currently, downtown daily parking rates range from a low of $8.75 in the First Avenue Parking garage to $16 in many of the core parking garages.

North Shore parking spaces on the other hand can be had for $6 and $7 in surface lots and $8 in the West General Robinson Street parking garage. The North Shore “T” station is located in the basement of the parking garage.

The North Shore lots are owned or operated by ALCO Parking and President and CEO Merrill Stabile is sweetening the pot for commuters by dropping the garage monthly lease from $140 to $125.

With the cheapest downtown monthly lease running $220, Stabile says, “Parking on the North Shore is basically half the price of parking downtown, you’re looking at maybe saving $1,500 a year or more by parking on the North Shore and taking the free ‘T’ downtown.”

Pittsburgh Parking Authority Executive Director David Onorato doesn’t expect to see a mass exodus from downtown parking but he does think commuters who choose the North Shore may save time getting home in the afternoon by staying out of the downtown rush hour.

The North Shore Connector’s first commuter rush hour will be Monday morning, March 26.

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