Bring Back the UltraViolet Loop

UV Loop Bus LogoThere are a lot of great bars and coffee shops and other late night hang outs in this city that are pretty easily accessible via bus routes from where I live, places like the Brillobox or Quiet Storm, or neighborhoods I’d like to explore more thoroughly like Regent Square. The problem is, if you plan on staying late, don’t — very few buses run until 2am or later.

Living in Shadyside, I’ve noticed a good many bus stops with the UV route listed, however that bus never comes by and I learned sometime last year that the route had been cancelled long ago. Today, though, I was playing around with the Port Authority Hand Schedule Finder at typed in the UV route.

This was an amazing route! Unlike every other Port Authority route, you could buy a Nightly Pass ($3 for unlimited rides) and the route went through so many great neighborhoods: South Side, Station Square, Downtown, the Strip, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Garfield, East Liberty, Shadyside and Oakland, to be precise. Even better, the UltraViolet Loop ran from 7pm to 4am!

Unfortunately, and according to Wikipedia, the UV died out due to lack of ridership. That is a giant bummer, I must account, as this would have been an amazing addition to our Pittsburgh exploration. Imagine hitting an art crawl in Garfield at 7pm and then catching the bus to the South Side a couple of hours later, never to fear how your too-many-quarter-drafts ass would get home?

From what I’ve been able to discern via the Internet, the UV was a largely community-driven effort that the Port Authority stuck with between 2001 and 2004. I do wish they’d give it another chance, even if they greatly reduced the frequency (it was running every 30 minutes, in both directions) and size of the bus used. Surely just as a means of keeping drunken college kids trying to make out with the car in front of them as they spill out of South Side and back into Oakland this would be worth it.

Check out a PDF of the UltraViolet Loop’s Schedule »

Up Next: Three Cavities for April Fool's Day