Heading downtown for First Night? Here’s what you need to know about public transportation

Last week we told you all about Highmark First Night and how to plan your visit. Now it’s time to talk about your transportation options on the big night. Because it’s New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, we’re posting early this week to give you all the info you need for attending the festivities in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Pittsburgh First Night
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

First of all, it’s a good idea to take public transportation into the city, as parking will be hard to find and many streets will be closed for the celebration. But be warned: lots of people will be using public transportation, so plan to leave early and weigh your options toward the end of the night: head home early to beat the crowd, or stay for the fireworks at midnight and join the crush. Either way, you’re better off than those who decided to drive. They had to pay an arm and a leg for parking and are still facing the same timing dilemma.

In any case, take note that the Port Authority is running special hours for New Year’s Eve, and the usual holiday hours for New Year’s Day. Plus, kids under 12 accompanied by an adult wearing a First Night button ride for free starting at 4 p.m. If you don’t have a ConnectCard already, consider getting one for each member of the household and loading it up with a value or a pass. The cards are easier and faster than providing correct change. You can get cards at most Giant Eagle stores around Pittsburgh.

Be sure to use the Port Authority trip planner to schedule your ride so you know when to arrive at the stop.

It’s a good idea to check the weather before you head out as well. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter in the area, but it looks like it’s getting colder just in time for New Year’s. Bundle up in layers before you head out for the night, and bring cash for hot beverages.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Consider moving to a Prudential Realty Community like Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, or Sleepy Hollow in 2015.

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