Port Authority Launches ConnectBand Pilot Program

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) Before the doors at the Port Authority Service Center on Smithfield Street opened Thursday morning, riders were already in line.

They weren’t waiting for a bus — but to get one of the new Port Authority ConnectBands.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Steve Willing)

Like the ConnectCards, the blue, waterproof wristbands allow riders to tap and go when they ride any Port Authority Bus, T Train or incline.

“You can tap your band on a machine on the bus, you can reload them at all of our partner retailers or Giant Eagle or Goodwills,” said Adam Brandolph, with the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

“There’s $10 on the band so they can use it for four rides, get them started using that band.”

Those who receive a ConnectBand today will be part of a pilot program through Port Authority. In about a month, they’ll receive a survey, where they can tell Port Authority what they liked and didn’t like about the wristbands.

A total of 135 bands were distributed as part of the pilot program.

“I have the ConnectCard, but the band will be a lot easier, just in getting my bags and things to get in and out of work,” said Misty Yeomans, who rides a Port Authority bus to work every day.

“I just like the convenience of the band and it’s fun to try something new,” she added.

“I think I’m going to like that it’s very convenient and it’s waterproof and all I have to do is flick my wrist,” another rider told KDKA’s Lisa Washington.

The ConnectBands for the pilot program must be used by August. There are plans to roll out the bands to all riders later in the year.

Port Authority is also working on a separate mobile app to be introduced at a later date.