Port Authority of Allegheny County has begun its transition of using ConnectCards for 10-trip, weekly, monthly, and yearly passes, as well as stored value. As a college student, intern, and part-time captive to the restaurant service industry, I have become a frequent user of public transportation here in Pittsburgh. And while I definitely find the ConnectCard to have its share of hiccups, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether you use the bus daily or once in a blue moon, I recommend picking one up.
Clueless on how to get started? Here are the basics of the ConnectCard:
What is it?
A blue, plastic, reloadable card which you can purchase and store your transit passes and store value on.
Where do I get one?
You can get one at the Port Authority Service Center downtown (534 Smithfield Street from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or at any of these Giant Eagle locations.
How do I use it?
When getting on or off the bus, T, or incline, tap your ConnectCard on the orange target on the farebox. A beep will signal that your pass has been accepted. The farebox will read your remaining balance if you are using stored value.
How do I another pass or store more value on it?
You can go to any ConnectCard machine, located at all T Stations and major stops along the East and West Busways. You can also go to the Service Center or any of the previously-mentioned Giant Eagles. All you need to do is tap your ConnectCard on the orange target (similar to the ones on the fareboxes) on the machine, select the type of pass or value using the touch screen, and pay using cash or credit/debit.
What if I lose or damage it?
Approximately 48 hours after you first purchase your ConnectCard, call Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000. You can register your card so that if anything were to happen to it, you will still have your passes and value on a replacement card. Unfortunately, Port Authority hasn’t made registering for this service online or electronically, however a customer service representative said that it will be in place in the future.