Your safety is our first concern.
As one of the largest public transportation systems in the country, Port Authority prides itself on its safe record, well-trained employees and the many safety and security features of our vehicles and facilities.
There are several safety features and policies you should be aware of in the unlikely event of a breakdown, accident or emergency.
Please download our Safe Riding brochure (PDF) or read the information below, keeping it in mind to help us make your trip a safe, convenient and enjoyable experience.
Safe Bus Riding
A few common sense tips will help to keep you safe when riding Port Authority buses:
Our buses are equipped with several emergency exits:
- Board buses only at designated bus stops.
- Never run after a bus or bang on the side of a vehicle. The operator may not be able to see or hear you. Please wait for the next bus to arrive.
- When standing on a bus, please remain behind the yellow line at all times and do not obstruct the operator’s view.
- If standing, do not lean against any doors. Do not stand in stairwells. Please hold onto bars or straps, as the vehicle may stop suddenly.
- Do not place children or objects on top of the wheel well decks – they could fall if the bus stops suddenly.
- Please avoid distracting the operator when he or she is driving unless you have an emergency.
- Do not cross in front of a bus that is stopped to board/discharge riders. Vehicles traveling in the same direction may attempt to pass the bus while it is at the service stop. Remain on the curb until the bus departs and it is safe to cross.
- If you are using the bike rack, please let the operator know before loading and unloading your bicycle. Load and unload your bike from the curb or the front of the bus – do not step into oncoming traffic.
- Most passenger windows open outward. Look for a red handle or decal with instructions on how to open in case of emergency.
- All buses have emergency roof hatches that push open as emergency exits.
- Additionally, all passenger doors can be used as emergency exits. Instructions on how to open are posted on each door.
All buses are also equipped with a fire extinguisher near the operator's seat.
If you have an emergency while riding the bus, please alert the operator. Port Authority operators can contact police, medics and other emergency responders using their two-way radios.
If there is an incident on your bus that requires evacuation, please follow the operator's instructions. Calmly leave as directed, assisting senior citizens and any riders with disabilities whenever possible.
All new buses are equipped with a fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment. Buses are also constructed using flame-retardant and flameproof materials.
Safe T Riding
Please keep these safety tips in mind when riding the T:
- Board the T only at designated stations and stops.
- Never run after the T or bang on the side of a vehicle. The operator may not be able to hear or see you. Please wait for the next vehicle to arrive.
- When boarding or leaving the T, be alert for a buzzer sound that will activate just prior to the doors closing.
- If standing, do not lean against any doors. Please hold onto bars or straps, as the vehicle may stop suddenly.
- Please avoid distracting the operator when he or she is operating the T unless you have an emergency.
Our Downtown T stations were designed with your safety in mind. Stations have an open design, are well lit and are equipped with cameras monitored by Port Authority Police. Police and security officers also patrol the stations. Emergency telephones are located in all stations and all elevators have doors equipped with glass panels for two-way visibility.
All light rail vehicle doors can be used as emergency exits. A posted decal located at the top of each door explains how to open the door in an emergency. All vehicles are also equipped with a fire extinguisher in the operator's compartment.
If you have an emergency while riding the T, please alert the operator. Port Authority operators can contact police, medics and other emergency responders using their two-way radios.
If there is an incident on your vehicle that requires evacuation, calmly leave as directed by your operator, assisting senior citizens and any riders with disabilities whenever possible.
See something? Say something!
When it comes to safety and security, we can always use an extra pair of eyes. If something doesn't look right, let us know!
If you spot an unattended package, unusual behavior or a suspicious occurrence, please tell your vehicle operator or dial Port Authority Police at 412-255-1385.
What if my bus or T gets into an accident?
If an accident occurs on your Port Authority vehicle, the operator will radio for assistance. The operator will instruct riders on whether they should remain on the vehicle or leave the vehicle. Riders may be required to open emergency exits.
Do not move injured riders! Let arriving medics assess injuries. Please let the operator know if you are injured.
Pedestrian & Motorist Safety
Bus Lane & Busway Safety
Special lanes are reserved for buses only in Downtown Pittsburgh on Wood and Smithfield streets and in Uptown/Oakland on Fifth Avenue. Bus lanes are marked by signs and diamond symbols painted in the roadway. In many areas, the bus lane allows buses to travel opposite the regular flow of traffic, so pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks and look both ways before entering streets with dedicated bus lanes. Do not cross in front of buses.
Bus lanes are reserved for the use of buses and emergency responders. Do not drive your car or ride your bike in a bus lane. Doing so may result in a traffic citation.
Our buses often travel faster on the busways than on mixed-traffic roadways, so it's important to be careful when walking to and from busway stations. You should only cross Port Authority busways at designated crosswalks between inbound and outbound stations. You should access the stations only by using the ramps, stairs or pedestrian bridges provided. Riders with bicycles should always walk their bike when accessing a busway station.
Do not drive your car or ride your bike onto the busway, and don't walk on any portion of the busway other than designated crosswalks. These actions are illegal and may result in a citation!
Emergency telephones are located at many busway stations.
Safety Near the T Tracks
Light rail vehicles travel above ground through densely populated neighborhoods in the South Hills. When driving your car or walking near grade crossings, be alert for the T, which can be very quiet while moving along the track. Crossings on the system are marked with railroad crossing signs and flashing red signals. Signs are also posted along streets before the crossings to alert motorists to the tracks ahead. Never walk on the T tracks!
Stay within designated crosswalks to access the opposite station platform. Always look both ways for oncoming traffic. Make sure that you have a clear path before crossing the tracks. This is especially important at transfer points.
For additional resources about safety near railways, please visit Operation Lifesaver Pennsylvania.
If there is an incident in the subway that requires evacuation, follow the walkway to the nearest emergency exit that leads directly to street level. As you pass through the subway, blue lights located on the tunnel wall indicate the presence of an emergency telephone. Fire extinguishers are positioned on the wall adjacent to the walkway and at all stations.
Blue lights are also used to indicate the location of emergency telephones and fire extinguishers in the Mt. Lebanon rail tunnel, Mt. Washington transit tunnel and the West Busway's Berry Street tunnel. In the event of evacuation from these tunnels, please walk to the nearest unrestricted opening that will lead to the surface.
In all cases, remain calm and listen for instructions or announcements in the station or from your vehicle operator or other Port Authority personnel.
If an evacuation of Downtown Pittsburgh is ordered, Port Authority vehicles will be used to transport evacuees. Detailed information on evacuation procedures is available on our Evacuation Plan page.
Port Authority Police
Port Authority Police are dedicated to serve and protect Port Authority riders and the transit system. The Police Department may be reached at 412-255-1385. To learn more, view our Port Authority Police page