Cycling In Pittsburgh

Cycling in Pittsburgh is a growing thing. Like most cities, the hype of biking as transport/leisure is evident. However, I do not see people giving up their cars for bikes as much as some cities in the world. People are cycling more for leisure than transportation. Could it be due to the hilly terrain or the transport infrastructure? With this said, more bike lanes are appearing throughout Pittsburgh.

Cycling In Pittsburgh

For cycling related events in Pittsburgh, check out Bike Pittsburgh!
For Pittsburgh public bike sharing system, check out Healthy Ride Pittsburgh.

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Public Transport (Buses) in Pittsburgh

The public transport in Pittsburgh is complicated and extremely confusing to me (the existing system during the time this article was published). Let me explain generically the existing bus system.

Pittsburgh Port Authority bus stopping at a bus stop

There two ways you can pay your fare: either the exact amount in cash or using a ConnectCard (a lot of colleges in the city have it together with the college/university ID card). On principle, when you flag down the bus, you must check whether it is an inbound or outbound from downtown Pittsburgh. For inbound services you pay when you board and outbound services, you pay when you alight. These concepts can get confusing when you board from downtown or when you are new to the route. It always caught me off guard and I am still confused with the system after living in the city for more than 6 months. So I always ask the driver instead.

As there are two entrances to the bus, due to the way you pay your fare, you can board the bus only from the front for inbound buses and either entrance when you alight. And only alight the bus from the front entrance for outbound buses, while you can board from either entrance. I always board and alight from the front just in case. I find it much easier this way...

The fares are divided into three zones: Free, Zone 1 and 2. Remember to get your transfer ticket from the driver if you are changing services to complete your journey.

Good News! After learning all these concepts and protocols, the entire bus system is going to change beginning January 1, 2017. It's going to be a single fare system. You can enter only from the front and exit the bus from the rare entrance. No more transfer tickets and discounted fares when you use your ConnectCard. At the time of this article, from the Port Authority website*, you will have to pay USD2.75 (full fare) if you pay by cash and USD2.50 when you pay using your ConnectCard. The ConnectCard is still free at the time of this article, but it will soon have a fee of USD1.00. So, if you are coming to Pittsburgh, this is something to take note. To find out more about these changes do check out the special Website that the Port Authority has created - *

If there are any more things that you think I have missed out or interpreted incorrectly, please leave a comment below. Also, please note that I am not paid to say any of the content in this article. All information I have provided is from my own research and could be wrong, so please always check with the Port Authority -

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My First Spring Carnival In The States
Ferris Wheel at Carnegie Mellon's Spring Carnival

Last weekend (April 14-17) was Carnegie Mellon's Spring Carnival. I was looking forward to this event because it was my first time attending a Spring Carnival in the States. There were lots of activities there, and the weather was around the 70°F (20°C). This year the event was held at the College of Fine Arts Lawn and surroundings. It was an fun and enjoyable experience.

Kamikaze at Carnegie Mellon's Spring Carnival

For more sky watching, enjoy the beautiful skies from all over the world at Sky Watch Friday logo

Spring Is Blossoming In Pittsburgh
Flowers blossoming in The Village of Eastside

Although it snowed over last weekend, I am glad these flowers hang in there. This is The Village of Eastside in Pittsburgh, and the photo was taken just off Penn Avenue with Bakery Square in the backdrop.

For more sky watching, enjoy the beautiful skies from all over the world at Sky Watch Friday logo

Keeping Track of Blog Issues 2016

In this blog post, I want to discuss some house keeping challenges I am facing and how I intend to address them.

As Alex’s World keeps expanding, it becomes more and more difficult to manage and be on top of every issue. Thus, often if you come across a problem in my blog, and it isn’t rectify after awhile, There is a likely chance that I am not aware of it. If I am aware of it, I would have made some changes to fix the problem: like today, I fixed some broken links, and refactored some code to help you all share my article easily and seamlessly. For those of you who are unaware of this, I built this blog from ground up without any Content Management Systems (CMS) like Wordpress or Joomla, just for the fun of proving to myself that I can create interesting Web technologies like the big players out there. That is why my blog is never perfect.

So back to the increasing challenges I am facing to maintain the blog, I can think of three ways to address the problem.

1) Create a bug tracker like those available in many CMS
This will consume lots of time and yield little productivity.
2) Create a create a form for people to submit issues
This is a great idea, but it is difficult to keep my viewers in the loop.
3) Use what I already have/created
So this is a hybrid idea of the first and the second idea to post a blog article (the current article that you are reading) to inform my viewers about my thoughts. You all can post the issues that you all are facing in the comments below, and I can keep everyone in the loop. Furthermore, I can keep track of the issues and not mess around with creating even more complicated tools, which may require even more maintenance.

This is what I am going to do. I will go with the third method, and I intend to do this as a yearly activity. Hence, if you are facing any issues with my blog in 2016, please post the issues as comments below. If you are wondering how you are going to find this post again some time much later, I will include a link to this post at the end of the right column as "Report Problems".

Many thanks to those of you for keeping me informed about the issues in my blog, your comments are very much appreciated.

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