Mass Transit attracts New Businesses, Consumers

Burgh Gourmand

… might also have been the headline.

After climbing out of mom’s SUV, four teenagers stand at the Shiras stop in Beechview, laughing, talking and playing on their phones. Standing next to a stranger, they talk openly about their plans for the evening — in Spanish. But when the trolley arrives and the other rider gestures for them to board first, one says “thank you” in perfect English.

Such scenes have become increasingly common in Beechview, a South Hills neighborhood that has become a hot spot for Latinos, especially Mexicans. And the increase has prompted entrepreneurs to open businesses and provide services that cater to the needs of the growing community that stretches into neighboring Brookline.

They are drawn by inexpensive housing, the light-rail line and word-of-mouth from family and friends. Many immigrants stopped first in places such as New York City and Chicago before coming to Pittsburgh for better work opportunities. (P-G, Katie Foglia)

A nice article. Jelly up here on the North Side, where there is only the initial stub of a connection to rail. Hey rural and exurban Republican legislators: imagine how many Latinos will leave your area for ours if you help build out mass transit in Pittsburgh!

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