PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Change is coming, says the banner on many Port Authority buses.
“It’s the biggest change to our fare policy in recent history,” PAT spokesman Adam Brandolph told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
The Port Authority has started a $50,000 advertising campaign to alert customers of changes to take place on January 1st..
And they have a video to help.
PAT Rider 1: “Talking about the big changes are coming to us Port Authority riders in 2017.”
PAT Rider 2: “Port Authority changes? Wat’s the Port Authority going to change?”
Through video on social media and signage and audio on buses, the Port Authority answers that question.
“It’s important to get the word out and to make sure as many riders know about these changes as possible,” said Brandolph.
First change is the Connect Card, which guarantees lower fares on the system.
“After Jan. 1, cash riders will be charged a 25 cents surcharge on each ride, and transfers will also be $2.75. So with a Connect Card, [transfers] they’re a dollar; with cash, $2.75.”
PAT Rider 3: “Paying your fare with your card not only means we all board faster, it’s a lot cheaper for you.”
PAT Rider 2: “Like a discount?”
PAT Rider: “Exactly.”
The Port Authority hopes the twenty percent of riders who still pay cash will get their Connect Card before January 1st.
Right now you can get your Connect Card for free at the Port Authority service center in downtown Pittsburgh or at a number of Giant Eagles.
But come Jan. 1, you’re going to have to pay a buck whether it’s at the service center, a Giant Eagle, or at a Connect Card machine throughout Allegheny County.
Allegheny County will also be one big zone at $2.50 a ride with a Connect Card
“We are going to be losing a little bit of money but we hope to recoup that with increased ridership,” said Brandolph.
Another change — you pay when you enter the bus no matter where you are and you exit the bus in the back or middle.
“You’ll be entering in the front and exiting in the back, so they’ll be a nice flow of motion.”
Seniors continue to ride for free — and the T, but not the buses, remain free downtown and the North Shore for everyone.
“Jan. 1 is the date. We’re excited.”