Pittsburgh is an exciting city full of unique cultural, sports, and dining experiences as well as world-class companies and universities. However, visitors not familiar with the area often face barriers of transportation and lack of familiarity with the area that can limit their engagement in the unique opportunities Pittsburgh has to offer. We propose creating a universal RFID-based card system (a “key to the city”) that provides visitors with access to mass transportation and curated dining and cultural experiences as well as other opportunities that align with their interests and reasons for visiting.
Precedent for this model exists with Pittsburgh area universities: Student, staff, and faculty ID cards unlock museums, restaurants, and the public transportation system every day. These negotiated arrangements mutually benefit the users, venues, and Pittsburgh as a whole.
Visitors to Pittsburgh of all ages who come for business, leisure, visiting local universities, job interviews, conferences, or other events. It takes a committed visitor to use a system designed for the ease of residents (e.g.: Going to a grocery store to purchase a ConnectCard) or using public transportation at all. Driving in Pittsburgh by the uninitiated is frustrating in general and difficult during periods of peak driving times. A “key to the city” card, offered to and made readily available to visitors, will encourage use of the public transportation system and provide a seamless Pittsburgh Experience.