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May 25, 1995

Pitt Zone on Port Authority buses debuts; renovations begin in Forbes Quad garage

If early reports are any indication, the new "Pitt Zone" program devised by the University's Department of Parking and Transportation and the Port Authority Transit system (PAT) could be a great success.

The program, which went into effect May 1, allows Pitt students, faculty and staff with a valid University identification card to ride PAT buses free of charge within an area that includes portions of Oakland, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

Pitt Zone's boundaries extend from Oakland Avenue between Forbes and Fifth avenues to Penn Circle South, Penn Avenue, South Dallas Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard.

"Overall, I would say the feedback has been very, very positive," said Department of Parking and Transportation director Bob Harkins. "There have been a lot of questions from students wanting to know if we can expand it into other areas." According to Harkins, there is no chance of expanding the program at the moment, but it could happen in the future. He said he has approached PAT about starting a program in which the University would partially subsidize student bus passes, "but I just haven't gotten any feedback." PAT buses that travel through the Pitt Zone include:

* Shadyside: 4U Oakland-Blawnox, 71B Highland Park, 71D Hamilton, 74U Shadyside Loop, 71A Negley, 71C Wilkinsburg and 54C North Side-Oakland-South Side.

* Squirrel Hill: 61A East Pittsburgh, 61C McKeesport, 67C Wilkinsburg, 67F Trafford, 64U Squirrel Hill Loop, 61B Braddock, 67A Monroeville, 67E Greensburg Pike and 67J Lincoln Highway.

Additional information on PAT's Pitt Zone service, including schedules, maps and routing information, is available by calling the Department of Parking and Transportation at 624-8612 or visiting its office at 3525 Forbes Ave. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Information also is available by calling PAT's customer service department at 442-2000. Customer service hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend and holiday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Garage renovation Renovation work at the A Lot in Forbes Quad began on May 1 and is expected to continue until about Aug. 1. As part of the project, contractors will be blocking off about one-third of the spaces in the lot at any one time. A Lot permit holders who find that legal spaces are not available in the lot may park in the Soldiers and Sailors Garage, according to Harkins.

When entering the Soldiers and Sailors Garage off Bigelow Boulevard, A Lot permit holders must take a ticket. When leaving the garage, they must sign the back of the ticket and include their A Lot permit number. Parking attendants have been instructed to check for A Lot permits.

After 5 p.m., A Lot permits are valid at any University lot that does not require key/card access.

Evening students with A Lot permits will be directed to either the Soldiers and Sailors Garage or the OA Lot on Bouquet Street if all legal spaces in A Lot are occupied.

"Everybody is always wondering where their parking money goes," noted Harkins. "Well, the renovation of the Forbes Quad lot is being paid for by parking revenues. There are no University hard dollars involved." Harkins said that the renovation work will cost approximately $500,000. "And at $60 a month it takes a long time to find that money," he added. Parking permits New parking permits will be distributed during the last two weeks of June. The permits will become active on July 1 and will remain valid for five years.

The validation period of the permits was changed from one year to five years in an effort to curb expenses. Instead of a new permit, the Department of Parking and Transportation annually will issue a validation sticker similar to those used on license plates.

For the convenience of permit holders, the validation stickers will be available through the mail, according to Harkins.

No new permits will be issued to parkers with an outstanding balance on their account.

Parking meters Due to an increased need for affordable visitor parking, the Department of Parking and Transportation is planning to install parking meters in the following campus lots: Log Cabin Visitors' Lot, the Schenley Quadrangle Lot, and the Sutherland Hall Visitors' Lot.

The meters will have a 30-minute maximum time limit at a cost of 25 cents per 15 minutes. As the meters are for short-term visitor parking only, any vehicles parked at them for an extended period of time or with time expired will be issued a citation.

For visitors with longer parking needs, visitor parking is available at in the Soldiers and Sailors Garage, O'Hara Street Garage and the OC Lot on Allequippa Street.

Bicycle registration In an effort to help reduce the number of bicycle thefts on campus, the Department of Parking and Transportation is offering to register free of charge all bicycles belonging to Pitt students, faculty and staff.

Cyclists who register their bikes in the Parking and Transportation office in Forbes Pavilion will receive a sticker that they can affix to the frame of their bicycle, as well as a map listing bicycle regulations and parking areas on campus.

Currently, there are about 500 bicycle parking spots scattered around campus and more are being planned. Cyclists with suggestions about where to locate new bike racks are asked to contact the Parking and Transportation office by calling 624-0687 or through e-mail at

Shuttle buses Pitt's shuttle service has begun operating on its summer schedule. The following buses and shuttles are now in operation: Campus bus, South Oakland, OC Lot, North Oakland, Biotechnology Center and VanCall.

Green-colored summer schedules are available on all shuttle buses, at the Parking and Transportation office in Forbes Pavilion, and in major buildings around campus.

Summer schedules also can be found on PittInfo, which is accessible through the Netscape, Mosaic, Lynx or Gopher connections. The resource locator for the Department of Parking and Transportation is:

–Mike Sajna

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