Pittsburgh Regional Transit is pleased to welcome representatives from the American Public Transportation Association for their annual Rail Conference in Pittsburgh. For the benefit of those attending the conference, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Pittsburgh’s rail-transit system:

No, actually they are modern light-rail vehicles, but people will persist in calling them “trolleys” or “streetcars.”

Well, by “modern” we mean “made in the 1980s” for about two-thirds of them.

Yes, the trolleys do go “ding ding,” and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.

Yes, this trolley goes downtown. They all go downtown, unless they are downtown in the subway right now, in which case they are going somewhere else. So there is no need to ask, and it makes our drivers cranky if you do.

Inbound, pay when you get on. Outbound, pay when you get off. This means you never pay downtown. Do you think you can get that through your head? Because our drivers get cranky when people pay at the wrong time.

Yes, there are many things that make our drivers cranky. We suppose drivers never get cranky in your perfect transit system in Perfectville, U.S.A.

We are not running trolleys over the Allentown route this week. You cannot bribe the driver to take you that way just for the views. We have arranged a special chartered Allentown Trolley for conference attendees on Tuesday night, and you can wait until then.

Yes, the subway does run very slowly under the Allegheny, for technical reasons that we would prefer not to divulge. If you really do think you could swim the Allegheny faster than that, as we have heard several of you say, you are welcome to try.


  1. RepubAnon says:

    Reminds me of an old Bert & I joke:

    Passenger: “Yes, Mr. Conductor, this is the slowest train I’ve ever been on.”

    Conductor: “If you don’t like it, why don’t you get out and walk?”

    Passenger: “I would, but my folks aren’t expecting me until the train gets in!”

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