Its Dangerous Business Going Out Your Front Door Analysis

Saturday, February 12, 2022 5:44:02 AM

Its Dangerous Business Going Out Your Front Door Analysis



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06 Underoath - It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door HQ

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The more people you invited, the more prizes you could get:. Almost 1, shared it with 10 of their friends. In a sense, Glossier was able to engineer a similar formula — get engagement first, then launch the product. The idea was to talk to celebrities and various moguls about their makeup rituals, trying to write about them in a more casual, authentic way. The blog got popular, grew, and eventually hit 1. Traffic histories of intothegloss. You might not assume that the same message would resonate for a brand like The Honest Company. After all, its founder has about Celebrity founders can be purely ceremonial — percentage points on a cap table who get paid because of the exposure they bring to the company. But she was able to use her celebrity status to textbook perfection in getting the company noticed and evangelizing its story.

The Honest Company got started while Alba was pregnant with her first child. The seemingly unending process of trying to find safe and verifiable cleaning products for her unborn child set her off on a quest that led to the founding of The Honest Company. Part of what sets The Honest Company apart from many of the others that we studied is the relative scale of its product line. Rather than starting with just one or a handful of products, it launched with Any parent who wanted to buy chemical- and irritant-free diapers was also going to want chemical- and irritant-free baby wipes, and chemical- and irritant-free shampoos, and so on.

Products that are used up and must be replaced relatively quickly are also good products to sell through a subscription model, especially to busy new parents. The subscription model gave The Honest Company a further asset — a built-in incentive to stick with the brand. Gavigan says that:. Jessica Alba, on the other hand, has both proven her public dedication to the mission of The Honest Company. She has It can also help create a community — having a central, known figure to rally around can make it easier to reach people and build a conversation.

If successful, that community can eventually take off and be self-sufficient, as we can see in the case of food replacement company Rosa Labs and its first product Soylent. That lets Soylent get the benefits of launching hype, new insights from your customers on an ongoing basis. A screenshot of a machine learning-based tool that will help you build your own meal replacement just like Soylent — all you have to do is enter your ingredients. Source: Laverty. A year later, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency banned the startup from operating in Canada due to it not meeting certain nutritional standards required to be classified as a meal replacement.

And yet these are the kinds of issues that are easier to surmount when you are constantly reinventing yourself. Soylent Bars need not be an albatross if you can just shed them from your product line. This squares with the long-term strategy behind Soylent as an ever-evolving product. Co-founder Rob Rhinehart started off his experiments with Soylent by posting recipes he was trying on his personal blog and sharing them with others in the biohacking space. Those are software company numbers, which makes sense given the affinity between the business models of Soylent and software. Suddenly, consumers could access software over the web — and developers could push updates continuously.

This allowed software to improve gradually over time. Customers no longer had to wait for a new version to be physically pressed to a CD, shipped, and released. Soylent takes the same agile methodology and applies it to food. Each new version gets a new decimal-point version number e. Each new version also addresses shortcomings in the previous product and iterates based on testing and customer feedback. Hundreds are reading about and reviewing different Soylent shipments at any given time, asking questions about which versions taste best and what other food items to mix Soylent with.

Each update, however, is merely about bringing small incremental improvements to the core idea behind Soylent. In other words, Soylent is designed to be more or less nutritionally complete. And the bond it has with customers ensured that the business kept growing even during the Covid pandemic. Like many on this list, BarkBox is an example of a company seeking to deliver a better customer experience by offering fewer choices. By compressing the treat-toy-accessory buying experience into one package, BarkBox simplified modern pet accessory shopping.

But to make people take notice, BarkBox looked to the familiar channel of social media for some viral leverage. BarkBox started in as a side project for co-founder Matt Meeker. He joined forces with fellow tech entrepreneurs Henrik Werdelin and Carly Strife, but kept the startup lean, only hiring one staff member a year into the launch and building a basic site to test interest. As they grew, Meeker and company began noticing videos on Facebook showing BarkBox customers opening the boxes with their dogs, giving BarkBox an insight that would fuel their growth to , customers and beyond. These early adopters of BarkBox wanted to show off that they were in on a new service.

The founders grasped the marketing opportunity and decided to build a strategy around it. The reason customers enjoyed opening BarkBox with their dog was clear — people love showing off their dogs on social media, and a box full of treats provides an ideal opportunity for content. BarkBox leaned into this customer trait, designing every part of the BarkBox experience in a way that would make subscribers feel like they were part of something special — and make them want to share.

From monthly themes which provided month-to-month variety to their content creators, to hand chosen items the team found by combing sites like Etsy, to the upscaling of the packaging itself and the inclusion of huge BarkBox logos, BarkBox turned viral-box-opening into a science. The company devised numerous ways to encourage recipients to post unboxing videos and photos on social media. This included a referral program and coupon codes. When a new BarkBox customer took a video of their unboxing and uploaded it to YouTube or Facebook, tagging it with a specific hashtag, they could get a discount on their next order. Additionally, a content creator who featured a promotional code in their video, or other content, could get a cut of the proceeds from BarkBox.

BarkBox is a social media leader in the online dog space, with nearly 3M fans on Facebook and more than 1. Bombas is another company that aims to be inextricably connected with its community. Bombas is a buy-one-give-one company: for every pair of socks you buy, a pair gets donated. But in an attempt to strengthen its brand proposition to customers, Bombas decided to keep its philanthropic mission local: supporting the homeless in and around the places where Bombas sells its wares. Socks are among the most requested clothing item at homeless shelters. However, most homeless shelters, citing hygiene concerns, do not allow second-hand socks to be donated.

Instead of focusing its efforts abroad, Bombas focuses its donations on homeless shelters in the United States — an advanced market where the risk of knock-on negative economic effects would be limited. The idea was also part of the genesis of the company itself. Co-founders Randy Goldberg and David Heath, colleagues at a lifestyle website, were reportedly inspired to start a sock company when they read that socks were the most requested item at homeless shelters. Bombas aimed to avoid these kinds of criticisms by focusing its philanthropic efforts in 2 ways — by staying close to home, and by giving away a product that targets a specific unfulfilled need of its recipients.

The company stayed true to its mission during the Covid pandemic, having donated more than 40M pairs of socks to date as of October. The business was booming as well, and Bombas kept growing its customer base. Gymshark has also portrayed itself as being on a mission, although not a philanthropic one. Ben Francis founded Gymshark in in the UK when he was just Unhappy with existing sportswear choices, he wanted to build a clothing brand that offered affordable and fashionable products to gym-goers. But competing in this field meant taking on giants such as Nike and Adidas.

To launch its products and achieve a breakthrough, Francis turned to popular social media accounts in fitness and health niches, making Gymshark one of the pioneers of influencer marketing. It came totally naturally to us because we were just fans of the guys. The company initially contacted high-profile accounts such as bodybuilders Lex Griffin, Chris Lavado, and Nikki Blackketter. In exchange for free Gymshark apparel, these influencers were supposed to wear and promote the products on their Instagram and YouTube channels, driving purchases through affiliate links. The strategy proved to be highly successful. Sales boomed, and Gymshark now sponsors 18 influencers, including Irish professional boxer Katie Taylor and the ultra-marathon sea swimmer Ross Edgley.

Influencers had duties that extended beyond social media. They ramped up promotional efforts before a new product launch and during major sales, such as a Birthday Sale in June and a Black Friday Sale. Gymshark uses influencers to bond with gym enthusiasts. And it further deepens brand loyalty by creating an aura of exclusivity around its products. One of the tactics used to achieve this is selling products exclusively through its website and not working with third-party online retailers.

And although the company may have missed revenue in doing so, Francis remains committed to this strategy. The funds will be used to expand the business into new markets, including North America and Asia. And despite the Covid pandemic, Gymshark reported strong growth in sales in this period. A key focus for these D2C companies is quality. In that regard, D2C brands have positioned themselves as the antithesis to traditional retail giants. Take, for example, a typical buyer journey on Amazon. You go looking for a pair of speakers and are immediately offered a huge selection of choices designed to get you to the checkout as quickly as possible.

On Amazon, quality is delivered through a tailored selection of choices — each one right for a different kind of shopper. Depending on whether you just need a basic set of speakers for a party or are looking to invest in a decent pair for your home office, you should be able to get what you want no matter what product you click on initially. A cheaper product may not be as good as a more expensive one. The successful D2C companies we looked at, for the most part, approach quality from an entirely different direction. They cater to the desire to avoid choosing and the desire for something that is just fine. You can see this if you read critical reviews for many of these products on the internet.

A fair number of mattress critics say Casper beds are overhyped. The Honest Company has been in plenty of hot water over the quality of its products. And commenters have described Glossier as ripping off other products and putting them in cute packaging. What they do rave about is the process of actually getting a Casper mattress delivered. What they love is how easy it is to always have fresh blades on hand with Dollar Shave Club, and how simple it is to buy The Honest Company soap. They are a class of products where the end-to-end experience of selection, purchasing, and customer service is more important than the product itself.

And providing more choice can sometimes be a burden for the consumer. Their products may be just Good Enough in most cases. The end-to-end user experience, however, is so much better that it elevates them above their traditional competitors. Because these brands can truly own the customer experience and delivery, they can create an end-to-end customer experience that is better than anything Amazon or a traditional retailer can offer. As a previously unknown brand, Bonobos saw early on that providing a differentiated customer experience was going to be important. It needed men to feel confident ordering relatively pricey pants online, and it needed those men to recommend those pants to their friends. There was one shining model in the e-commerce space to imitate, and that was Zappos.

For Bonobos, that meant cultivating a culture of ultra-responsivity on its support team in the first years — a culture that resulted in prompt replies across various customer service channels, including phone, email, and social media:. Central to the Bonobos idea was great pants. But the brand needed to embody this idea of overwhelmingly-great service too. That branding created an early impact.

A good metric for measuring the success of branding is direct traffic rate — how many people come to your site simply by typing it into their browser vs. The level of the Bonobos customer experience has remained high over time. The company also appeared to be relatively unscathed by the Covid pandemic. It closed stores in March and reopened them 3 months later without announcing any layoffs.

Among the companies that have taken the Bonobos ideology to the next level, Soylent stands out. The Soylent team is actively involved in the community, almost treating its customer base as an extension of the company. That communal ideology has not only helped it attract high-profile funding but powered its hypergrowth. A group of engaged and sincere customers is something far more rare, and potentially more powerful, than a good product alone. Chris Dixon, who works at the famed VC firm, wrote a blog post announcing the close of the investment, stating that:.

If you look at Soylent as just a food company, you misjudge the core of the company, the same way you would if you looked at GoPro as just a camera company. He wrote up the complete list of ingredients and the exact steps he took to develop it so people could tweak it themselves. The Soylent subreddit was born a month later. The growth of the Soylent subreddit over time, pegged to important milestones in the history of the Soylent corporation. Contributors share different Soylent-featured recipes, ask each other questions, and share pictures of shelves and refrigerators bulging with Soylent:.

Rob Rhinehart posts on the Soylent subreddit as a means of connecting with the community and providing support. You can buy Soylent from the Soylent website, or you can just print out the recipe, buy the ingredients, and make your own. Add in communities like the one on Reddit, and the product can almost distribute itself. That is not to say the company is operating without challenges. It has reportedly reduced its office size in November and closed Soylent Innovation Lab.

Multiple layoffs were reported as well. And unlike competitors such as Huel, Soylent is yet to report the most recent revenue figures. Rather than breaking down the idea of food into its constituent nutrient parts, Casper broke down the idea of a bed until it was something they could easily ship through FedEx so it would arrive at your house — wrapped up in a box — overnight and with no hassle.

The 2 founders and friends, who lived together in a fourth-floor walkup in Manhattan, had been wondering how they would ever get a bed up to their apartment. But the implications of that question would affect more than just apartment-dwellers. The end result of all of this is that you are basically within a few miles of a mattress store no matter where you are in the continental United States. One of the core premises behind Casper was that the way mattresses were moved across the country was wasteful and inefficient. Put a bed in a box, and you can ship it. No store or square footage necessary. The company also delivers through white-labeled versions of existing on-demand delivery services like Postmates and Stuart.

Crucially, the company also offers free returns. Returns have been a problematic part of mattress purchasing for years. Many stores refuse entirely to offer returns on mattresses. Some allow you to return the product but have strict limits on how and when it can be done, or require that customers pay hundreds of dollars to ship the mattress back. Mattress returns are a dicey proposition no matter who is selling them.

You never know what kind of condition the bed will be coming back in, and no piece of furniture depreciates faster than a bed. It makes sense to levy a large fee to disincentivize the return. At the same time, offering free returns allows people to be comfortable with the idea of buying a bed sight unseen from a brand new and unproven startup — it gave people confidence. Casper in effect had to bet that there would be so few returns that it would be worth it. Due to people liking the beds, or at least not disliking them enough to actually return something they need every night to sleep on, the bet seems to have paid off.

But not without cost. But the company was also not giving up on customers looking to lie down on mattresses before buying them. It opened over 60 retail stores across the US to capture more sales. It was this combination of in-store and online shopping that allowed the company to overcome the Covid crisis. Casper closed its retail stores in North America on March And in April, it laid off 78 employees, a fifth of its global corporate staff, in an attempt to cut costs and achieve profitability. Glasses, like mattresses, have historically been purchased in brick-and-mortar outlets.

The company managed to eliminate virtually all of the objections that people normally have about buying something like glasses online through ingenious customer experience design and homebrew tools. First, the home try-on. Then came various experiments with virtual try-on, using webcams and imaging software to try and make the home try-on redundant. It makes sense. You can try them on.

Using the Prescription Check app iOS , users can using a credit card for scale measure their prescription and pupillary distance completely digitally. Their results are sent to a Warby Parker-contracted doctor who checks them over. The focus on digital services helped Warby Parker overcome turbulences during the Covid crisis. The company closed retail locations in March and reopened them a few months later with strict rules on social distancing. Using tech to make the buying experience better is one of the most powerful ways that online D2C brands can disrupt big incumbent competitors. Online D2C companies can promote new technology to their users with incredible ease.

All they have to do is write a blog post. While consumers may be doing their research online and talking to their friends for recommendations, most are still doing the actual purchasing at brick-and-mortar locations like Sephora. Because they want to see how something looks on them before they commit to investing real money into a full supply, according to analyst Karen Grant at The NPD Group. The reason that it makes Glossier such a high-growth startup is simple — an online skin tone matcher is far easier and cheaper to maintain than a retail counter inside a massive department store. Just as Glossier found success updating the process of buying makeup for a millennial audience, MVMT looked to reinvent the way that millennials thought about watches.

Once a prestigious conversation piece and functional item, many in Generation Y now see watches more as a fashion accessory. Until MVMT, however, no company had quite figured out how to best position watches, in terms of both price and style, to harness that new kind of consumer preference. What Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante saw was that the burgeoning Millennial generation — a cohort with ever-increasing buying power — desired something that was fashionable and modern, while also remaining affordable. But most of all, they wanted variety. For many millennials, a watch was never a practical necessity — it was an accessory. Something to be combined with different outfits and mixed and matched. Incumbent upmarket watch brands were selling watches for as much as thousands of dollars each.

That sort of price tag put those watches out of reach for most younger customers. Going direct-to-consumer helped MVMT lower their prices further. After talking to various watch suppliers, Kassan and LaPlante discovered many retailers were taking enormous markups on the watches they sold. Through a combination of selling directly to consumers and using simpler, cheaper designs, MVMT was able to undercut mid-market competitors. Rather than try to compete in retail with the older brands once it got big enough to do so, MVMT chose to stay fully online, a focus which helped it reach almost 2M followers on Facebook and nearly 1M on Instagram by While other watch brands like Fossil and Daniel Wellington have similarly targeted the millennial market, none have done so with as significant a social media focus as MVMT.

You can do that with brands like MVMT… One day the ones who can afford it will move into better watches as well. However, those who want to address the Board at its full meeting on May 29 must both register to attend the meeting and separately register to address the Board at least five days prior to the meeting. Those registered to address the Board on May 29 will be unmuted at the appropriate time. The employee last worked on Tuesday, May 5, and is currently being treated at a local hospital. This is the third Port Authority employee who works at the East Liberty garage to test positive. The previous cases were reported on April 10 and March Upon learning of the case late Saturday night, Port Authority mobilized a maintenance team to disinfect vehicles the employee had most recently operated and areas of the building where the employee was known to have been.

An outside company will be brought in to disinfect the building as early as today. Beginning this week, all employees at the East Liberty garage will go through temperature checks as they enter the facility for at least 14 days. Any employee whose temperature is above Port Authority has sought to minimize the spread of the virus by disinfecting vehicles more frequently, promoting social distancing, having customers board from the back doors, limiting the number of passengers on vehicles, and asking riders to cover their faces when riding.

The Authority has more than 2, employees. The employee last worked on Sunday, April 26, and has since been in self-quarantine. This is the eleventh case at the West Mifflin garage and the ninth involving a maintenance employee at this location. Since this employee was in the facility since the last time the building was deep cleaned, the garage will again be deep cleaned by an outside company tomorrow, Saturday, May 2. The West Mifflin garage provides service to nearly 15, riders a day to several communities in the southwestern part of Allegheny County. Riders in these neighborhoods are essential workers commuting to jobs in Squirrel Hill, Oakland and downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to steps that Port Authority has been taken to minimize the spread of the virus, every bus leaving and returning to the West Mifflin garage will be sanitized before any other employee touches it.

Port Authority safety officials are also taking additional steps, such as contact tracing, to focus on the area primarily affected. Several other steps have been taken in recent weeks to curtail the spread at this location and protect employees, including:. Port Authority also has sought to minimize the spread of the virus by disinfecting vehicles more frequently, promoting social distancing, having customers board from the back doors, limiting the number of passengers on vehicles, and asking riders to cover their faces when riding. The Authority has more than 2, employees, including 1, operators and mechanics.

As of Thursday, Port Authority had 98 employees off work awaiting COVID testing, 52 employees who have returned to work since testing negative and one employee has returned to work after having previously tested positive. Customer Service can be reached by calling , on Twitter pghtransitcare or via live chat at www. The Downtown Service Center, located at Smithfield Street, will continue to be open reduced hours, a. The Downtown Service Center is closed on weekends and holidays.

All visitors are required to wear masks. The employee works in maintenance at the West Mifflin garage. They last worked on Tuesday, April 21, and has since been in self-quarantine. The entire West Mifflin garage has been deep cleaned and sanitized twice in the last two weeks, most recently on Friday, April This is the tenth case at the West Mifflin garage and the eighth case involving a maintenance employee at this location. Any employee with a temperature above Additionally, the Authority is continuing to work with public health officials to implement any additional recommendations and will also reinforce with all employees recommended hygiene protocols and social distancing guidelines.

Fifty-two employees have returned to work since testing negative. They last worked on Monday, April 20, and has since been in self-quarantine. This is the ninth case at the West Mifflin garage and seventh among the maintenance employees who work there. In response to this cluster of cases, Port Authority on Sunday began taking employees' temperatures before starting their shift. Fifty-one employees have returned to work since testing negative. The employee works in maintenance at the West Mifflin garage and last worked on Tuesday, April The employee has been off since Tuesday in self-quarantine. The entire West Mifflin garage was deep cleaned and sanitized by Service Master of Greater Pittsburgh today after consultation with union leadership as there has been a cluster of positive COVID cases among maintenance personnel at this facility.

This is the sixth case at that location. The Authority is continuing to work with public health officials to implement any additional recommendations and will also reinforce with all employees recommended hygiene protocols and social distancing guidelines. We are doing everything we can to balance the safety of our employees and maintaining critical transit services that operate out of this garage.

This brings the total number of cases to nine Port Authority employees, including five who work in maintenance at this location. The employee last worked on Monday, April 20, , and has been at home in quarantine since then. After consulting with union leadership, Port Authority has decided to further reduce the number of maintenance employees working during each shift and will once again bring in a contractor to clean and disinfect the facility. Beginning Sunday, all employees at this location will have their temperatures taken before starting their shift. Forty-nine employees have returned to work since testing negative.

The employee works in maintenance at the Authority's garage in West Mifflin. They last worked on Friday, April 10, and has been in self-quarantine at home since then. Although the employee worked in the same areas as three other employees who tested positive in the past week, none have been inside the facility since Saturday, when Port Authority brought in an outside cleaning company to disinfect the building. As an additional precaution, Port Authority has reduced its maintenance team at this location to a skeleton crew for the next two weeks in an effort to prevent further spread. Forty-eight employees have returned to work since testing negative.

They last worked on Friday, April 17, and has been in self-quarantine at home since then. Because this is the third maintenance employee at this location to test positive for COVID in the last four days, Port Authority is working with the Allegheny County Health Department to determine what additional actions can be taken. This weekend, Port Authority moved the maintenance team at this facility to a holiday work schedule while an outside cleaning company disinfected the building. There is no change for riders who are already wearing face coverings on vehicles. Those who board without a face covering, however, now will be questioned by the operator and asked to cover their face while on the vehicle. Only those citing economic or health reasons may ride without a face covering.

Also, children ages two or under do not require a face covering. The change will be implemented at 8 pm tonight. Port Authority already has been encouraging riders to wear face coverings on vehicles, and also implemented additional measures to better protect customers and operators. These included implementing a rear-door boarding policy and limiting the number of riders on a vehicle to provide more space and prevent overcrowding. Tonight's change means that a rider boarding a vehicle without a face covering will be questioned by the operator.

If the customer cites one of the state-allowed exceptions, the rider may continue to board without a face covering. Otherwise, the operator will ask the customer to cover their face while on the vehicle. Riders who refuse to wear a face covering, but not cite one of the exceptions, will cause a delay in service as the vehicle will not proceed. Port Authority will not forcibly remove these riders from vehicles. The Authority will address these cases individually in a safe and reasonable manner.

The Pennsylvania Health Department has resources available on its website www. They last worked on Monday, April 13, and has been in self-quarantine at home since then. Since this is the second West Mifflin maintenance employee to test positive in the last two days, Port Authority will move its maintenance team at this location to a holiday work schedule this weekend while an outside company is brought in to complete a deep clean of the entire facility.

Rachel Levine. Two ConnectCard machines are conveniently located in the vestibule of the service center and at least one is located inside every light rail station in the Downtown Business District. Port Authority continues to strongly encourage passengers wear masks or other face covering while on our vehicles. The Downtown Service Center is open weekdays a. They last worked on Friday, April 10, and has been in self-quarantine since then. Another employee with whom the infected employee works closely has been directed to self-quarantine at home, with pay, pending medical clearance. For both meetings , those interested in attending must pre-register at least one hour bef ore each meeting.

Those who want to attend should visit www. No public comment will be heard at the committee meetings. T hose who want to address the board at the April 24 Board meeting must both register to attend and separately register to address the board. Both ways to register can be found at the link above. Once registered, you will receive an email invitation to connect. A standard conference call line is also available by dialing 1 - - - and enter ing conference ID Attendees are asked to keep their microphones muted throughout duration of both meeting s.

Those registered to address the Board on April 24 meeting will be unmute d at the appropriate time. The employee, a bus driver who has been on light duty since February 12, works out of the East Liberty garage, is at home after last working early April 9. After the employee reported they had tested positive for COVID, Port Authority mobilized a maintenance crew to perform a deep cleaning of the East Liberty garage and the buses the employee would have been in contact with. These efforts were in addition to the enhanced facility and vehicle cleanings that are already taking place on a daily basis.

To make sure riders have enough space to spread out and to prevent overcrowding, effective at the start of service:. If a vehicle reaches the maximum number of riders, drivers have been instructed to not pick up new passengers until others exit. If standby vehicles are available, they will be sent to pick up riders who have been passed up.

Port Authority is also strongly encouraging those who continue to use public transit to wear masks. The employee, a bus driver who works out of the West Mifflin garage, has been in medically-directed self-quarantine since March 23, and has not been to work since March Upon learning of the employee's diagnosis, Port Authority mobilized a maintenance crew to perform a deep cleaning of the West Mifflin garage and the buses the operator drove on their last day of work. Riders who must leave home for essential trips like going grocery shopping or picking up prescription medication should consider traveling between the hours of 10 a.

Despite a 25 percent reduction in service and an 80 percent drop in weekday ridership, certain trips on a handful of routes remain busy to the point where riders are unable to practice safe physical distancing. Port Authority has instated several measures over the last month attempting to limit spread of the virus, including reducing service and hours to limit exposure, cleaning and disinfecting vehicles daily, and having riders board and exit from the rear doors. The Authority is also redeploying foot articulated buses on busier trips.

As the virus continues to spread, Port Authority anticipates that an increasing number of its employees will be out of work for COVIDrelated reasons. Port Authority anticipates additional service reductions may also be required. In addition to decreased ridership, the global pandemic has also posed a substantial threat to the Authority's finances.

The employee, a bus driver who works out of the West Mifflin garage, has been in medically-directed self-quarantine since April 1, and has not been to work since March Upon learning of the employee's diagnosis, Port Authority mobilized a maintenance crew to perform a deep cleaning of the West Mifflin garage and the last bus the operator had driven. These efforts were in addition to the enhanced facility and vehicle cleanings that were completed when the operator first reported being off and those that are already taking place on a daily basis.

The information was also confidentially reported to the Allegheny County Health Department. Congress last week approved a federal stimulus bill aimed at ensuring residents will continue to have access to public transit long after the crisis is over. Port Authority has experienced historic decreases in ridership since the first week of March. Ridership had decreased by as much as 80 percent in the last days of the month. In addition to the significant drop in ridership, the global pandemic has also posed a substantial threat to the Authority's finances. The Authority is also working to determine the impact on state and local subsidies, which could dramatically increase that estimate.

Customers are asked to arrange for pick up by calling Customer Service so physical distancing can be practiced. Port Authority will hold all other items until the regular lost and found procedure is reinstated. Riders are encouraged to continue reporting items that may have been lost on Port Authority vehicles. If lost items are recovered, customers will receive a claim number for pick up at a later date.

Customers can report lost items by calling Port Authority Customer Service at or online at www. Customer Service representatives will be available 8 a. The employee, a bus operator, is under medical supervision at a local hospital. Based on current information, the employee was exposed outside of work. Port Authority has been actively disinfecting vehicles and common work areas daily since March 14 to protect both customers and employees. Yesterday, Port Authority customers began boarding from the rear doors of buses as an additional layer of protection.

Earlier this month, Port Authority and its unions agreed that employees held out of work for COVIDrelated issues would continue to be paid with medical certification. The Downtown Service Center will operate from a. Window transactions at the Service Center will be limited to the replacement of ConnectCards. Fees for such transactions will be waived.

Customers who need to purchase fare products are asked to use the ConnectCard web portal or a ConnectCard machine to limit person-to-person interactions. Also due to current events, Port Authority is temporarily suspending the issuance of Senior ConnectCards. Customers are additionally reminded that nearly every route is now operating on a reduced service schedule and bus passengers now are being asked to board at the rear door. The new schedules can be found at www. Port Authority will continue working in close cooperation with federal, state and local health agencies during this crisis and will continue to monitor ridership as the situation evolves.

For Port Authority information, please visit www. As a reminder, reduced weekday service will also go into effect Wednesday. All routes will continue to operate, but less frequently than usual. The modified schedules can be found at www. Customers without internet access are encouraged to call Port Authority Customer Service as paper schedules will not be printed. Weekend service will follow regular weekend schedules. Buses that don't regularly operate on Saturdays or Sundays will not operate on those days under the modified schedules. It takes into account public guidance from state and local leaders, along with emergency orders to cancel events, close schools and offices, and limit social gatherings across the nation.

As a result, riders will continue to be able to practice social distancing while on board vehicles. Port Authority worked closely with its union leadership to develop the plan and spoke with the region's largest healthcare providers to ensure that service will remain available for customers who work in essential jobs or who need access to essential services. With fewer buses required, Authority crews will be better able to keep up with the daily disinfecting schedule.

Bus and light rail operators will also be able to practice proper social distancing protocols while they remain on stand-by. Port Authority staff will continue to evaluate service levels to determine if further adjustments are needed. Customers are reminded that although Port Authority's TrueTime service will be able to provide vehicle location information, trip planning services will not be available.

Paper schedules will not be printed. Saturday and Sunday service will follow regular schedules. Buses that do not regularly operate on Saturdays or Sundays will not operate under the modified schedules. Port Authority will continue working in close cooperation with federal, state and local health agencies during the COVID crisis and will continue to monitor ridership as the situation continues to evolve. Committee meetings had been rescheduled for a.

The next committee meetings are scheduled for a. To most effectively communicate this policy, signage will be posted on all vehicles reminding customers to maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from each other and from the operator. To help facilitate this policy , the p riority seating areas will be kept in the upright position unless needed by a senior or an individual with physical disabilities or mobility limitations. This temporary policy will be in effect until Pennsylvania and Allegheny County lift t heir states of emergency. Port Authority continues to encourage customers use common sense hygiene practices to limit the spread of germs and illness, like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer im media tely after riding the bus or light rail vehicle; changing your seat if you notice someone near you who appears to be sick; sitting down if possible so you can avoid holding on to poles and straps; and staying home if you are sick.

To support such measures, Port Authority will permit customers who have purchased monthly or weekly time-based passes to be reimbursed on a prorated schedule in exchange for stored cash value on their ConnectCard. The stored cash value can later be used on its own or toward the purchase of another time-based pass. Customers enrolled in the JobPerks program are not eligible for reimbursement. If you are enrolled in the JobPerks program and are seeking reimbursement, please contact your plan administrator through your employer. Although the Downtown Service Center remains open, customers are encouraged to contact Port Authority Customer Service at or via chat at www.

Customers should have their ConnectCard number, security pin and answers to security questions at the ready. During this time of uncertainty, riders are encouraged to consider purchasing passes of shorter duration or instead buying stored value. Employers who order passes on behalf of their employees are reminded that orders for April can be placed as late as March On Thursday, Port Authority announced it would begin cleaning "high touch" areas of on vehicles every 72 hours. Following today's announcement, those areas will be cleaned daily. There are no plans for any operational changes at this time. However, Port Authority service is highly dependent upon its workforce.

Should the Authority not have drivers available, it may be required to reduce service ad hoc or systemwide. Health officials recommend individuals who experience potential symptoms avoid public areas, including riding transit. Symptoms include high fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Riders are encouraged use common sense hygiene practices to limit the spread of germs and illness, like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer immediately after riding the bus or light rail vehicle; changing your seat if you notice someone near you who appears to be sick; sitting down if possible so you can avoid holding on to poles and straps; and staying home if you are sick. For updated Port Authority information, please visit www.

Surfaces inside major transit stations will be disinfected daily. Increasing the cleaning schedule to once every 72 hours comes in advance of the agency activating its Pandemic Plan. Should Port Authority need to activate its Pandemic Plan, crews will disinfect vehicles on a nightly basis. Hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed at Port Authority's Downtown Service Center, and Steel Plaza, Wood Street, Gateway and North Side stations, with more to be installed once additional supplies are available. At this time, there are no plans for any changes to Port Authority schedules or service. The Authority has also provided educational materials to employees on proper hand washing procedures. Hand sanitizer will be distributed to public-facing employees as soon as additional quantities are available.

Over the last few weeks, Port Authority updated its Pandemic Plan with COVIDspecific protocols and formed an internal working group to monitor the spread of the virus and identify ways to contain it, provide information to customers and employees, and ensure the Authority has the resources it needs. This week, the Authority issued a temporary suspension of non-essential employee travel outside Allegheny County and canceled the remainder of its public engagement meetings. During this time of uncertainty, riders are encouraged to consider purchasing passes of shorter duration or instead buying stored value, which does not expire. As of this morning, there have been , confirmed cases and more than 4, deaths attributed to the COVID virus worldwide.

And although there are 21 cases in Pennsylvania, there are no presumptive positive cases in Allegheny County. Riders are again recommended to use common sense hygiene practices to limit the spread of germs and illness, like washing your hands or using hand sanitizer immediately after riding the bus or light rail vehicle; changing your seat if you notice someone near you who appears to be sick; sitting down if possible so you can avoid holding on to poles and straps; and staying home if you are ill.

Port Authority will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials and coordinate with the Allegheny County Health Department on the latest developments. The remaining meetings, which had been scheduled through late April, will be rescheduled. In the meantime, residents can watch a recording of an earlier meeting, review the presentation, and submit feedback at www. Port Authority will continue to take direction from federal, state and local health agencies. Port Authority has made no operational changes to service, but has updated its agency-wide Pandemic Plan to include COVID protocols should it need to be activated.

For more general information, visit www. While general in nature, these tips are particularly helpful in light of an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus disease , named COVID, which has infected more than 80, people worldwide, causing nearly 3, deaths. Should conditions change, Port Authority would increase the frequency it cleans and disinfects the inside of buses and light rail vehicles and distribute hand sanitizer to employees who interact with the public. Port Authority customers are encouraged to be proactive and to take the following precautions to limit the spread of germs, regardless of the virus:.

Wash your hands Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, particularly after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Need a timer? Change your seat If you notice someone near you who appears to be visibly sick, move away from them if possible. If possible, opt to sit, keeping your hands in your pockets to avoid touching unnecessary surfaces.

This option is more of a best-case scenario, as trains and buses are often full during peak travel hours, and individuals with physical disabilities should always have first priority for seating. If you are sick, stay home. Instead, cough or sneeze into your shoulder, sleeve or elbow. Additionally, it has been an active flu and respiratory disease season.

An updated listing can be found here. The changes to into effect on March 15, Two bus stops will be established along the Penn route. Over the last two months, more than people and community groups provided feedback on the proposals. Although each bus stop is evaluated individually, proposals to eliminate bust stops are based on usage, proximity to other stops and customer safety. Port Authority buses serve nearly 7, stops throughout the region. In addition to soliciting rider feedback, Port Authority employees rode buses and visited garage facilities to talk with employees about the changes. The next round of stops in the Bus Stop Consolidation Program has not been identified.

Port Authority will provide ample notice once any changes are proposed. Existing signs, maps and other materials will be changed throughout the system over the next few months. For a complete list of all the service adjustments, please visit www. The hardware is being installed so Port Authority employees and select stakeholders can begin testing the application and associated hardware. Riders will see the devices on 50 buses serving seven routes:. Following the initial testing, Port Authority will give its London-based vendor, Masabi LLC, the go-ahead to ship and then install the hardware on each of the Authority's buses and 80 light rail cars and at both inclines. Public testing and the public release of the mobile application are expected to occur later this year.

The mobile application will allow customers to purchase fare products — from single trip tickets to monthly passes — from anywhere and use them immediately. Once released, the app will be able to be used in addition to cash or the ConnectCard. Solutions for those who don't use a smartphone will be activated once the initial testing and hardware installation are complete. Port Authority will also pay the vendor a portion of the sales.

Customer Service phone representatives will be available from 6 a. Monday at Residents will be encouraged to provide input and ask questions. The community discussions will kick off on Wednesday, January 29, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with three sessions beginning at 9 a. The current schedule and list of locations can be found here. Riders with questions about special accommodations are encouraged to call Port Authority Customer Service at The transit tunnel has been closed since Tuesday evening due to landslides caused by stormwater runoff. Since then, City of Pittsburgh crews cleared trees along the hillside and a Port Authority contractor removed the dirt, mud and other material, and stabilized the hillside.

Washington beginning next week. Detours for bus and light rail service will continue to remain in place as they have since Wednesday morning:. Washington Transit Tunnel on the inbound tracks - Customers traveling outbound from Station Square or South Hills Junction are able to board rail cars from the inbound platforms - A rail shuttle is operating on the outbound platforms between Station Square to First Avenue Station - Buses will remain detoured around the transit tunnel. Riders who usually travel through the transit tunnel in either direction should continue to allow for additional travel time.

Customers with questions are encouraged to call Port Authority Customer Service at Washington Transit Tunnel, all Port Authority bus and light rail traffic will be detoured around the tunnel effective immediately. Beginning at the start of service on Wednesday morning, inbound light rail service will operate on the tracks that run through the city's Allentown neighborhood; outbound light rail service will operate through the Mt.

Washington Transit Tunnel on the inbound tracks. Also beginning Wednesday morning, customers traveling outbound from Station Square or South Hills Junction will be able to board rail cars from the inbound platforms. A rail shuttle will operate on the outbound platforms between Station Square to First Avenue Station. Riders who usually travel through the transit tunnel in either direction should allow additional travel time as delays are expected. Port Authority has been working with the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to remediate the hillside and prevent further erosion and damage. For the safety of Port Authority employees and customers, no light rail service will operate on the outbound tracks until the debris is cleared and the hillside is stabilized.

Light rail service will operate on special holiday schedules that can be found here. Detours for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh will begin at 10 a. Route-specific detours are available here. Riders with questions are encouraged to call Port Authority Customer Service at Click here for the holiday schedule for the Red Line. Click here for the holiday schedule for the Blue Line.

Port Authority's Downtown Service Center and administrative offices will be closed in observance of the Christmas holiday. The remainder of the bus fleet and all of the agency's light rail vehicles will be equipped with free passenger Wi-Fi by early next year. The signal is about as fast at 4G LTE, allowing customers to surf the web and check email, but probably not fast enough for large downloads or high definition video streaming. Making Wi-Fi available to riders could prove especially valuable for individuals in underserved communities, said Port Authority's Chief Information Officer Jeffrey Devlin. Earlier this year, the Authority added 59 new buses equipped with USB ports to allow customers to charge their mobile devices.

Next year, Port Authority will be rolling out a mobile payment application that will allow customers to pay their fare with their smartphones. There is no limit on time usage. In the near future, vehicles equipped with Wi-Fi will be identified by a sticker located near the front doors of each vehicle. Helpful Tips:. Connection Issues:. They will make a loop as they serve 13 stops in downtown Pittsburgh. No fare will be charged. Customers will be able to identify the buses by their "96A-Golden Triangle" head signs. Neoplan buses have been part of Port Authority's fleet since , one year after the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation purchased more than 1, buses and distributed them to transit agencies across the state.

In the 37 years since their first arrival, several models of these buses have been the workhorses of Port Authority's system and have been a familiar sight for two generations of transit riders. Today, just two Neoplans remain in use, both of which will be retired after Sunday. The updated proposal eliminates fewer bus stops due to a calculation error. Instead of proposing to eliminate 13 inbound and 12 outbound bus stops on the Penn, the updated proposal now includes eliminating 11 inbound and 11 outbound stops.

The number of stops proposed to be eliminated on the Arlington— 11 inbound and 12 outbound — has not changed. Feedback on this proposal will be collected through February 7, Many of the stops are served by at least one other bus route. Notices will be placed on the stops that have been proposed for elimination early next week. Comments on the proposal will be accepted through February 7, , with stop eliminations expected to occur on March 15, Proposed eliminations are based generally on proximity to other stops, usage and customer safety, although each stop has its own unique characteristics and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Port Authority's goal is to reduce the number of bus stops while maintaining access to schools, places of worship, senior centers, healthcare facilities, community centers, libraries, other important buildings and key connection points. Port Authority buses serve more than 7, stops throughout Allegheny and neighboring counties. Public input on these proposals is an essential part of the process. In October, Port Authority initially proposed eliminating 72 bus stops along routes Brighton and Carrick. Following reevaluations triggered by community, customer and operator feedback, the Service Development team determined that six of those 72 stops would remain. The other stops were eliminated on November In addition to soliciting rider feedback, Port Authority employees will be riding on buses to make sure customers aware of the proposed changes.

They will also be visiting garage facilities to talk with employees. Riders can visit PortAuthority. The public can provide input by calling Port Authority Customer Service at or using the online form. Some detours will begin as early as 7 a. Friday with most Light Up Night detours beginning at 6 p. Port Authority employees will be stationed throughout the Central Business District to help direct customers to the nearest stop locations. Port Authority will be operating extra service on the light rail system to take riders to and from downtown Pittsburgh, but due to the overwhelming popularity of Light Up Night riders should allow for extra time when traveling.

Detour information for individual routes is available at PortAuthority. Customers are encouraged to visit our detours page , where detailed information about the detours will be available later this week. Customer Service will be open from 8 a. And on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, Port Authority will operate on regular weekday schedules, although Port Authority's administrative offices and the Downtown Service Center will be closed in observance of the holiday. The change will occur with the next round of schedule adjustments on Sunday, November The 28X will continue to pick passengers up at the airport at the landside terminal commercial arrivals curb at door 6. A complete list of changes is available HERE.

For more information, riders are encouraged to call Port Authority Customer Service at or visit PortAuthority. In early September, Port Authority announced it would begin reviewing and proposing for elimination redundant, unpopular and unwelcoming bus stops with a goal of improving service and on-time performance. Port Authority initially proposed eliminating 33 of stops 26 percent on the Brighton and 39 of stops 22 percent on the Carrick. The stops are also served by nearly two-dozen other bus routes. More than people provided feedback on the proposals, which triggered a reevaluation of several bus stops. A complete list of the stops is available at PortAuthority.

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