In the Mon Valley, public transit limitations are felt by residents who’ve left Pittsburgh’s core

As Pittsburghers move to the Monongahela River Valley for affordable rents, transit activists describe the need for more robust options to help them stay connected to neighbors and services in their old communities…

One fix for an hourlong bus ride would be adding or extending bus lines to provide more options. But this can be costly and cumbersome.

“Cities like Pittsburgh traditionally have more transit access in the more dense urban core and in the more dense urban neighborhoods,” said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Carnegie Mellon’s Traffic21 institute.

Public transportation works most efficiently in highly populated areas, according to Caldwell. As cities gentrify, he said, residents move from the urban core and start to lose access to the traditional transit systems from their old neighborhoods.

“[I]t’s difficult because people are more dispersed and you don’t have a density to get the effectiveness of transit,” Caldwell said.