After months of delays, Pittsburgh Regional Transit expects to begin offering riders information next month about immediate delays or cancellations through its website.

At the agency’s board meeting Feb. 23, CEO Katharine Eagan Kelleman said the agency wanted to wait until it could offer a complete “disruption management” system that included long-term detours. But detours must be entered manually, and that part of the system is taking longer to develop, so the agency will begin delivering what is available sometime in April.

“This is information that comes straight from our dispatchers,” Kelleman said. “Look for notifications at least in the upcoming month on how to get signed up for this system so we can push that information to your smartphone so you get the notice your trip is not there.”

That information is particularly important as the agency takes steps to reduce the number of trips missed because drivers sometimes aren’t available due to a national shortage of bus drivers.

The goal is for riders to have reliable information on when their next transit vehicle is coming so they don’t have to unnecessarily wait outside in the cold, rain or heat until it arrives. Right now, that information is available for some routes through the authority’s website at

The system will work like this when it debuts in April: Notifications about delays, cancellations or emergencies such as fires or crashes go straight from dispatchers to customer service personnel who enter it into TrueTime. Riders who sign up for the service will get a notification on their smartphone.

Eventually, the system also will provide information on long-range disruptions due to construction, but Chief Innovation Officer Jeffrey Devlin said available software only allows one detour for each route. That isn’t practical in this area.

“We really wanted to wait for all of it to be done,” he said. “We just can’t wait anymore.”

For years, riders have used a series of apps that claim to provide accurate information, but many of them have reliability problems. PRT’s goal is to have complete, accurate information available in one place when the system is finished.

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Ed Blazina

Ed covers transportation at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at