No car? No problem! Here’s how to find a home close to public transportation

Whether you’re moving to Steel City for the first time or you’ve been in Pittsburgh for a while, it pays to familiarize yourself with the Allegheny County Port Authority system and take public transportation into your calculations as you look for an apartment.

Even if you have a car, public transportation is a wonderful thing:

  • It gives people without a car a way to get around, particularly over less than walk-able distances.
  • It’s a safe way to get home after you’ve had a few drinks.
  • If the weather’s bad and you don’t feel comfortable driving, public transportation can get you where you need to go.
  • Not only does it let you avoid traffic (Hello busway!), more people taking public transportation leads to fewer vehicles on the road, which in turn leads to less traffic.
  • It’s good for the environment: using public transportation reduces your carbon footprint.
  • It gives you down time to read, study, browse social media, play games on your phone, etc.
  • Texting and driving is illegal in Pennsylvania, and talking on the phone is dangerous, but you can do both of those things legally and safely while taking public transportation.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Maybe it’s time to move. Consider the following:

  • After reading the above list, do you think public transportation would make your daily commute easier?
  • Would visiting friends and family (and them visiting you) be easier if you lived closer to public transportation?
  • Do you have kids who don’t have licenses or cars but are old enough to strike out on their own?
  • Do you or your spouse ever get stranded because the other person has the car?
  • Do you dread going out on the town because it requires finding parking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you stand to benefit from moving to a place close to public transportation. Read on to learn how to find your new place.

  1. When you’re on the hunt, include access to public transportation high on your list of desired amenities and consider the various financial pros and cons of potentially paying a little more rent to live that much closer to a stop.
  2. As you scour the web and rental magazines, map each property’s location using Google Maps, which can give you public transportation directions as well as driving directions. Take advantage of satellite view and street view. Make note of the points of interest that appear on the map, such as grocery stores, vet clinics, and anything else important to you.
  3. While touring a property, don’t look just at the house/apartment, look at the neighborhood. How far of a walk is it to the closest bus or “T” stop? Is it a pleasant walk through a nice neighborhood with well maintained sidewalks and ample street lighting? Drive or even walk around a bit to get a feel for the place. If you can, return at night and see how you feel about it then.
  4. Once you’ve seen some of your options in person, it might help your decision making process to get back online. For example, Port Authority’s Trip Planner works beautifully for seeing exactly how to get from A to B in Pittsburgh. But don’t look just at the route you’ll need to get to and from work. Look at the full schedule so you know how late everything runs and how early it starts. Look up how you might get to your best friend’s house or your favorite restaurant. As you map various routes, you’ll get to know the neighborhood and see if it works for you.
  5. Make decision, apply for the place you want, and prepare to move.

Stay tuned for next week’s post highlighting Prudential Realty communities close to public transportation. We might just have the new home you’re looking for!

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