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Staggered Work Hours

If work and school hours are staggered, more people can have a comfortable ride on Pittsburgh's "T" system.

Photo of Deb Christian
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Consider yourself lucky if you live or work near Pittsburgh's "T" or Trolley system. Like most public transportation, it is packed with people when you need it most - with no population decrease in sight. It would be wonderful to add to the T system with more coverage but would cost a fortune to taxpayers. If more employers and schools could offer more flexible hours, the transit load may slowly even out, making it more economical and more comfortable for everyone.


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Photo of Aly Stone

Hi Deb, welcome and thanks for the post. Can you tell us more about what led you to this solution? Do you often experience trying to commute while all the school buses are being let out? My other question is about how you think schools and businesses could coordinate to get on board with organizing their hours in such a way.
Thanks for your thoughts!
-Aly, community facilitator

Photo of Deb Christian

Hi Aly.
I walked to work for 9 years but since my recent move, I must now rely on public transit.  The trolleys and buses are so packed that not everyone can get on.  I see this as becoming more of a problem during city growth.
School districts could set up (2) five hour shifts that run year-round with two-week breaks between semesters. For example, shifts could be 7 to 12 and 2 to 7, allowing a two hour window to get students in and out of school during midday. Parents could request the shift preference with the final decision resting on the school board.
Employers could jump on board and offer shifts that correspond with parental obligations. It would make sense for state or national government to offer incentives to employers that contribute to after school programs at or near their work locations. It would be an investment in our nation’s youth and in the quality of life of the employees. 
Of course, this is changing habits and will require strong intentions set by parents and employers.  The alternative is to add more trolley tracks which would be helpful and expensive.  Staggering work hours uses existing resources more productively.
Thanks for asking!

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