Friday, February 13, 2004

Proposed Light Rail System to Airport Will Help Young Pittsburghers Leave Town Faster

For years, local media outlets, politicians and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) have raised hopes by discussing plans for improved transportation in and around the city. From the West-End busway to the “Maglev” project, area residents have seen and heard stories promising to make their commute easier. While the futuristic Maglev idea may be permanently scrapped, the recently proposed light rail system connecting Oakland to Downtown to the Pittsburgh Airport does have one segment of the population excited: young, college graduates. To the area’s best and brightest, the light rail offers an important added value: an even faster way out of Pittsburgh.

“Thank you, Pittsburgh!” exclaimed Carnegie Mellon junior and 3.94 GPA computer science major Jason Lentz. “I was born and raised here, but seeing that the odds of [Pittsburgh] offering any worthwhile opportunity for me after graduation is practically nil, at least they’ve devised a system that can get me the fuck out of here as soon as possible!”

University of Pittsburgh engineering major Jennifer Yan agrees. “What a fantastic opportunity for this town’s finest young talent. This city has about a dozen colleges and universities to educate us, and next to studying, the main thing we do is spend endless hours on Travelocity and Orbitz to find the cheapest flight out of town. Now, thanks to the light rail, it’s only going to take us 20 minutes or so to go straight from commencement to the airport! And from there… who knows… I guess any other city where the average age isn’t the oldest in the country.”

Yan’s statements mirror those of other young Pittsburghers such as Duquesne sophomore Brandon Altamonte.

“What they should do is build a light rail that goes to the airport from Blawnox or Munhall.” opined Altamonte. “That way, they could maybe get rid of all the old people who still think it’s the [Nineteen-] Seventies and the Steelers still have a shot at the Super Bowl. They’re the ones that are making us young people leave – still bitching about the steel mills, and preventing progress by trying to save some old burned out building from being torn down just because it used to look pretty in the 20s. Fuck that.”

Altamonte continued, “See, the thing is, I want to stay here. This is my home town, and I’m not too excited about leaving. But hey, if I have to move to Charlotte or Atlanta to get a job, so be it. At least there would be a quick way to do it. That Maglev thing would have still been sweet though.”

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