Rachel Windsor | July 25, 2023
We’ve all heard the myth that you can’t get by in Pittsburgh without a car. But did you know Pittsburgh is consistently listed as one of the most walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly cities in the US? Living in Pittsburgh means enjoying its scenic landscapes, vibrant neighborhoods, and unique urban setting. However, locals are well aware of the challenges that come with getting around this ever-evolving city. Fortunately, Pittsburgh is also at the forefront of promoting sustainable transportation alternatives that can make your daily commute and explorations both eco-friendly and efficient. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll introduce you to a variety of alternative transportation modes available right in your backyard, from convenient bike-sharing programs to efficient public transit options.
POGOH: Formerly known as Healthy Ride, POGOH offers a convenient way to explore the city on two wheels. Here’s how to get started:
Locate a Bike: Use the app to find the nearest bike station. There are 60+ stations spread throughout Pittsburgh, with 200+ pedal bikes and 300+ e-bikes.
Rent a Bike: Once you locate a station, you can rent a bike by entering your account number and PIN on the bike’s keypad.
Enjoy Your Ride: Cruise around Pittsburgh at your own pace, exploring its neighborhoods and scenic routes.
Return the Bike: When you’re finished, return the bike to any POGOH station. Lock it securely, and you’re good to go.
Bonus Tip—North Shore Trail: For those seeking a scenic ride, the North Shore Trail provides a picturesque route along the riverfront, connecting the North Shore to downtown. You can rent bikes at various locations near the trailhead and enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline.
Pittsburgh Regional Transit: Pittsburgh’s public transit system, including bus, light rail and the incline, is a great way to get around the city. Here’s how to use it:
Pay Your Fare: Purchase your fare card or ticket from a vending machine or use the ConnectCard for contactless payments. And if you’re riding the light rail, you can now use mobile tickets from the Ready2Ride app.
Board the Vehicle: Arrive at your stop a few minutes early, and board the bus, light rail, or incline.
Real-Time Tracking: Stay updated with real-time transit information, which can help you plan your trips more efficiently and minimize wait times.
Pittsburgh’s walkability is often underestimated, yet it offers a multitude of benefits. Here’s why you should consider walking as your mode of transportation:
Neighborhood Exploration: One of the joys of living in Pittsburgh is the diversity of neighborhoods. Walking allows you to truly experience the character and charm of each community. Whether you’re in Lawrenceville, the North Side, or the Cultural District, you can immerse yourself in the local culture on foot.
Health and Well-being: Walking is an excellent way to stay active and improve your overall health. It’s a low-impact exercise that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Plus, it’s a great stress reliever and mood booster.
Environmental Impact: By choosing to walk instead of drive short distances, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner, healthier Pittsburgh. Walking produces zero emissions and helps mitigate the city’s air quality challenges.
Cost Savings: Walking is the ultimate budget-friendly mode of transportation. You won’t need to spend money on gas, public transit fares, or rideshares. Plus, you’ll save on parking fees and maintenance costs.
Pittsburgh Carpool: If there’s no way around getting in the car for your commute, carpooling is a way to reduce traffic congestion and your commuting costs. Here’s how to get started:
Sign Up: Online platforms, such as CarpoolWorld, are a great way to start a carpool. All you have to do is provide information about your commute and preferences.
Find a Match: The platform will match you with other commuters who share similar routes and schedules.
Share Rides: Coordinate with your carpool partners and start sharing rides, reducing your carbon footprint and transportation costs.
HOV Lanes: Pittsburgh has designated High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on major highways, such as I-279 and I-376. Carpooling allows you to take advantage of these lanes, often resulting in quicker and more efficient commutes.
While exploring alternative transportation options, don’t miss out on this valuable resource provided by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. It’s designed to help you discover different ways to travel in our region. You can even track your greener trips and earn rewards along the way!
With over 4,000 members and counting, CommuteInfo has already left a significant mark on Southwestern Pennsylvania. Users have recorded over 30,000+ greener trips, resulting in more than $2,000 in rewards redeemed. This collective effort has saved 456,282 miles from being driven, conserved 19,928 gallons of gas, and led to $285,070 in savings. Beyond the financial benefits, users’ efforts have prevented 194 tons of emissions from entering the atmosphere and collectively burned 425,332 calories.
Depending on your needs, preferences, and destinations, you can mix and match these modes to create a personalized, sustainable transportation plan that works for you. Embracing alternative transportation not only benefits the environment but also contributes to reducing traffic congestion and improving the overall quality of life in our city.
So, whether you’re commuting to work, exploring Pittsburgh’s vibrant neighborhoods, or simply making an eco-friendly adjustment in your life, consider the many modes of transportation that Pittsburgh has to offer.