A Free Route is a route that provides service without charging. In which case, the fare boxes will be covered – therefore showing the fare is not accepted. These routes will exist when there is a desire to reduce populations with short routes, or for the former Golden Triangle Zone where the different payment protocols were used because of it.
There will be 3 Downtown routes and 2 proposed South routes which will involve the business participation. The Three Downtown Routes will be as follows:
- Blue: Downtown
- Purple: Penn-Liberty
- Red: Liberty-Fifth
The Blue: Downtown will service as the subway line between Allegheny Station and South Hills Junction. This will actually add Station Square, and South Hills Junction, but in turn will justify reductions of primary buses in other areas. The Purple: Penn-Liberty will leave Penn Station to Penn Avenue until reaching Stanwix to turn on Liberty which Liberty will be used to return to Penn Station. The Red: Liberty-Fifth will leave Penn Station via Liberty to serve to Market Square and Fifth Avenue which will then serve Fifth Avenue to Grant which will then use Grant to return to Penn Station.
There are two rationales for these routes. First, all other routes will be a pay-enter system only. Second, all primary routes will take a more direct path to Penn Station which will serve as a meeting point for all routes. While this can not work now, this will work when the number of primary routes are significantly reduced.
Another proposal for free rides will connect Washington Junction (renamed to Bethel Park) with South Hills Village, and another to function as a LRT/Streetcar from Sandcastle to Waterfront, then Kennywood Amusement Park. This will likely be a summer only route. In both instances, the businesses involved will have to make arrangements since providing limited free services will benefit them.