Friday, April 6, 2012

The Tunnel to Nowhere Goes Somewhere

So after attending Opening Day for the Pirates, my Dad and I waded our way through the throngs of people and towards the General Robinson Parking Garage where we parked. We both knew that traffic would be terrible, so to kill some time we decided to check out the new North Shore Connector line of the subway under the river.

As you can see from the picture above (double click to enlarge), there was a sea of humanity waiting to take the Connector back into town. Looks like a lot of people parked in town and used either the Gateway Center or Steel Plaza stops to get off for their cars.

The new North Shore station was clean and very utilitarian, in contrast to the very bright and updated Gateway Center station where we got off. The ride itself was short and uneventful. We got off at Gateway and walked to the other side of the platform to take the train right back to the North Shore.

My father-in-law mentioned something interesting tonight at dinner. He and his wife parked at the Rivers Casino (for free in the garage), then took the subway from that station to the Steel Plaza stop, then walked up the hill to the Penguin game. Free parking, free subway, 5 minute walking time = good deal.

The North Shore Connector project was $523M total, well over the original $350M'ish estimate. It will be a worthwhile project if it accomplishes the purpose it was meant for -- to become a multi-modal center of transportation on the North Shore. If Light Rail can be extended to the North Hills, via the criminally under-utilized HOV lane on I-279, then the project will be a massive success. However, due to the state of Port Authority currently, that is a complete pipedream. Yet another reason to privatize Port Authority and move it into the present-day business model.

No comments:

Post a Comment