BUTLER (KDKA) — A commuter service that allowed Butler County residents to get from Butler into Downtown Pittsburgh is going away next week.
The Myers Coach Lines service to and from Butler is critical to those who depend on it.
“My mom is in a nursing home up in Butler,” John Gergerich, of the South Side, said. “She’s 91 and she’s in hospice.”
The idea that the Myers service ends next Friday is disconcerting.
“I’ve been making my school schedule around the bus,” John Craenor, of Butler, said.
The state-subsidized intercity service by Myers Coach has been running the Route 8 corridor between Butler and Pittsburgh for years. It not only connects the two towns; it’s the only mass transit service on Route 8 through Shaler, Hampton, Richland and southern Butler County.
“Well, we’re extremely disappointed,” Hampton Township manager Chris Lochner said. “We were caught totally off guard. We didn’t know anything about this.”
Riders found out by word of mouth from their bus drivers.
“We were just notified on Monday that the service was going to be discontinued,” Cindy Cook, of Hampton, said.
“The people who take the bus, that is their only way in and out of the city of Pittsburgh,” Lochner said.
Butler Transit announced Friday it will pick up the connection between Butler and Pittsburgh and ran a test bus into town for timing purposes. It will make two runs in the morning and two in the evening starting on Dec. 18.
“I’m going to have to adjust my work hours because the times don’t quite match up with my current hours,” Lisa McNany, of Butler, said.
The Butler Transit route will bypass the Allegheny County portion of Route 8 and go across 228 to Cranberry instead.
Could the Port Authority fill the void?
“We’re evaluating any requests for service through the Route 8 corridor,” Adam Brandolph, Port Authority spokesman, said.
Since the Port Authority only makes its major changes once a year, Lochner says Hampton will try to get service from the Duncan Route 8 park-and-ride into town.
“We don’t know how fast we can work, and we don’t know who specifically we can work with yet, but we’re going to take a shot next week to see what we can do to help them out,” Lochner said.
PennDOT is working on this as well, but until they can figure out how to fill that void after next Friday, the recommendation is folks find a way to get to the park-and-ride lots either at the North Park swimming pool or at the old Rave Theater on McKnight Road.