Carrick and surrounding neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, PA are served by multiple bus routes, most importantly the 51-Carrick bus.
The 51L is the Carrick Limited, which provides express service from downtown Pittsburgh to Station Square, Mt Oliver, Bon Air and Carrick, ending at the Brentwood Loop.
The 51 and 51L travel along Brownsville Road frequently through the day – every five to ten minutes on the way to work in the morning and on the way home, 6 times an hour mid days, and about every half hour in the evening. Weekends and holidays, buses run two to three times an hour. Download the 51/51L bus schedule.
Drivers make stops only at official bus stops, which are marked.
Fares are paid by by exact change only or ConnectCard, a reusable plastic card that can be purchased at the Port Authority’s Downtown Service Center, Giant Eagle locations and other stores.
Schedule times and bus stops can change. The Port Authority adjusts schedules four times yearly based on passenger counts, feedback from operators, riders and communities, and other information.
In the early 2010s, the Port Authority of Allegheny County cut local bus service.
In the mid-2010s, the Port Authority added buses to the 51-Carrick and 51L-Carrick routes when ridership was highest, reducing overcrowding during those hours and allowing people to get on the bus more quickly. Weekend service was increased. The improvements were due to higher funding from Pennsylvania’s Act 89, the Comprehensive Transportation Funding Plan. The changes increased on-time arrivals.
In the late 2010s, the Port Authority eliminated stops on 51-Carrick that were considered dangerous, unpopular or redundant. The changes were part of a Port Authority goal of improving its on-time performance. The authority considers a bus on time if it’s not more than a minute early or more than five minutes late. By its own measure, buses run on time about two-thirds of the time. The Port Authority was trying increase on-time performance to 73%.
Early in the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the Port Authority implemented a host of measures – disinfecting buses daily, riders boarding and exiting through the rear doors, cash customers boarding free, limiting the number of passengers at a time to allow social distancing by riders and requiring face masks. Later, buses returned to regular service, front-door boarding resumed and cash fares were collected.
The Port Authority of Allegheny County was created by the PA General Assembly in the 1950s for port facilities. Soon after, the Port Authority was allowed to purchase transit companies in the area. They bought 32 privately owned transit companies, including Pittsburgh Railways, which provided mass transit to Carrick. The authority is owned by the county, funded by taxpayers and riders, and overseen by a board of directors that is appointed by the County Executive and approved by County Council. The authority operates nearly 100 bus routes that have more than 7,000 stops.