General (and we hope useful) Information

8 February 2001

The Banquet/Dinner Cruise

On Thursday, 26 April, the conference banquet will be held in the form of a dinner cruise aboard one of the Gateway Clipper Fleet. The dinner will be preceeded by a cash bar. Bus transportation from the Holiday Inn to the dock and return will be provided. If you want to bring a guest, additional dinner cruise tickets are available for a price of $40.00. You can add your guests to the registration form or pay at the conference (cash only at the conference and please let us know no later than Wednesday noon).

Getting to/from the Airport and around town

There is a bus route (28X aka. Airport Flyer) that goes between the Airport and CMU, passing near the Holiday Inn. The fare is $2.00. Taxis cost $30 - $40 on the meter ($35 prearranged, see below) and take about 30 - 40 minutes. There are various shuttles, etc. in the $20 range.

The 28X bus leaves from the lower (baggage claim) level of the airport, near the Taxi stand on the commercial curb. Look for the sign board at the curb. They go about every 15 minutes from about 6AM till 6PM, 20 minutes 6PM til 10PM, and irregularly until midnight. Typical run time is a bit under 1 hour for a fare of $2.00 (exact change, cash, pass, or ticket only).

The closest stop to the Holiday Inn is at 5th and Bellefield (next to the Mellon Institute building), about 5 short blocks (450M) from the Holiday Inn. Cross both 5th and Bellefield, continue along 5th, away from the Mellon Institute, past Ruskin to Tennyson. Cross Tennyson and turn right. Go about one block on Tennyson and you will see the driveway of the Holiday Inn which crosses from Tennyson to Lytton. The hotel entrance faces this driveway. The route map shows these stops. Note that the stop at Craft and Forbes is about 200M from the Hampton Inn while the stop Halket and Forbes is about 250M from the Best Western.

To return to the airport from the Holiday Inn, you can catch the 28X at a stop near 5th and Tennyson. The stop on Craft, near Forbes is the closest outbound stop to both the Hampton and Best Western. The asymmetry is due to the fact that 5th is one way between Bellefield and downtown while Forbes is one way from Bellefield and Craft.

A 1 zone bus pass (good in most of the city) is $13.25 for the week. The airport is in zone 2, and would cost an additional $0.40 with a one zone pass. We know of no place to buy passes or tickets at the airport so you will need $2.00 in cash to ride the bus into town.

Passes are available at a number of places near the conference hotel. These include the University of Pittsburgh Student Union Ticket Office (about 350M away), The "Rite Aid" pharmacy at 209 Atwood (about 850M), and the "Giant Eagle" grocery store at 4612 Centre Ave (about 1KM).

The bus system has a web site that contains information concerning schedules, fares, etc. Unfortunately, you need to know a bit about Pittsburgh to make sense of it since the system maps are a bit primitive and the schedule information assumes that you know route names (or numbers) and where various intersections are located relative to where you want to go. While each route is supposed to have a map available on the web site, some of the map URLs generated for the schedule pages are badly formed. If you get a "400" error, look closely at the URL and see if it contains a blank just before the .gif. If so, removing the blank and trying again will take care of the error. This seems only to occur on routes without a trailing letter, e.g 52 and 500 provoke errors while 54C, 4U, 71A, etc. do not. If you have questions about the bus system, let me know.

Your taxi is waiting!

If you wish to have a taxi waiting for you at the airport, the SEI has an arrangement with Bill Lenhart, a driver for Yellow Cab, the major taxi company in Pittsburgh, for fixed fare runs between the Airport and the SEI or Holiday Inn. The fare for this is $35.00. For airport pickups, we need to know the Airline, number, and arrival time of your flight. Bill will have a taxi at the airport to meet the flight. He tracks delayed flights, so you don't have to worry about missing him if you are late, but it is good to let him know if you change plans or are rescheduled. When you have your bags (or when you get off the tram from the midfield terminal if you travel with carry on), you call Bill (I use my cell phone), identify yourself and tell the person who answers (usually Bill) that you are ready for your cab. He will give you the number of the cab that will pick you up and the name of its driver. You then exit from the lower level of the terminal to the taxi area on the commercial curb and watch for a cab with the proper number to come down the hill on the left. Bill and his drivers accept credit cards, another advantage of using this system. If you want to take advantage of this service, send your flight information to me and we will set it up. When we make the reservation, we will send you a confirmation, including the contact phone number (and the locations of pay phones near the taxi area). We can also make reservations for cabs to take you to the airport at the end of the conference.

What else is going on?

Pittsburgh has a Major League baseball team, the Pirates, a NHL Hocky team, the Penguins, a NFL football team, the Steelers, a Symphony, etc. The following is but a small sample of the events that will take place around the conference week. In addition, there is an extensive club and music scene which is described in the alternative newspapers, InPGH and The City paper.

Other sources of information about Pittsburgh

Find out about the current weather in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh visitors and convention bureau has a bunch of useful information as does

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is the primary newspaper. Other papers include the (right wing) Tribune-Review and the alternative papers, InPGH and The City Paper.

Walk from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Along the way, you will pass near two buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater and the lesser known Kentuck Knob.

For a list of civic, government, and non-profit organizations in Western, PA, here is an index of more organizations than you could imagine.