Monday, March 26, 2012

Pittsburgh North Shore LRT extension opens

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Pittburgh's light rail transit system officially added 1.2 route miles Sunday for revenue service, as the North Shore Connector began operations linking its namesake neighborhood with the city's downtown.

The $523.4 million project serves a new Gateway Center Station at Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street, downtown, with an underground (North Side) near PNC Park and an elevated one (Allegheny) near Heinz Field and the Carnegie Science Center.

The extension, advanced conceptually for nearly a century, continues to be criticized for serving sports venues at the expense of other neighborhoods which could be served by LRT. Supporters of the extension note businesses and other commercial draws have multiplied in recent years, in part due to the route's construction.

The service is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT).