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  • Michael DiBartolomeo

How to Ride on the Pittsburgh Incline

Inclines are often called Funicular Railways and are found throughout the world and history. These railways transport cargo and people up/down steep slopes. If there’s one thing to note about Pittsburgh, it’s the steep slopes.

Plus, the iconic Pittsburgh Inclines also make the downtown Pittsburgh skyline unique.

The Differences between the Two Inclines

The Duquesne Incline offers red cars and can be seen from The Point. However, the Monongahela Incline (the Mon) features yellow cars and is seen from the South Shore.

History of the Pittsburgh Inclines

Originally, the two Inclines were opened in the 1870s to help those living on Mount Washington. However, the other two were finally shut down. These two remain in use, and they’re more than transportation. Many local commuters use them to get to downtown Pittsburgh, but they’re now a great way to show off the skyline and are used by tourists.

How Much Are the Tickets?

Each Incline costs $5 for a round trip, but there are discounts for senior citizens and children. Anyone can buy tickets at the lower or upper station at either Incline. While the Monongahela Incline accepts credit card payments, the Duquesne Incline only accepts exact cash.

Connect Cards

Some tourists prefer to buy connect cards to ride public transportation while they’re in the city. It helps to prevent needing exact change all the time and is often safer.

Since the Pittsburgh Incline is considered public transportation, Port Authority Connect Cards also work to pay for the trip. However, no one has to pay for a Connect Card. They can pay cash or use a credit card, depending on the Incline chosen.

Hours of Operation

The Inclines aren’t open 24/7, but they are available 365 days a year. Typically, they run every 15 minutes, and the hours of operation are:

  • Monday to Saturday is from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

  • Holidays and Sundays are from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

How to Find the Inclines

To locate the historic landmarks, it’s best to cross the Monongahela River, which is south of the downtown area. Either take Fort Pitt Bridge or Smithfield Street to enter the Pittsburgh’s South Shore. From there, it’s easy to find the lower stations of each Pittsburgh Incline. Then, buy ride tickets and wait for a car.

Is One Incline Better Than the Other?

Most people wonder if one Pittsburgh Incline is better than the other. However, each one does its job and transports people from one point to another. Neither one is jerky, and they both provide stunning views.

However, locals are bound to have their preferences. It might be fun to ask around or try them both just to see if there are any differences. Other people choose which Incline to ride based on the color of the car.

With that, no one can go wrong with either Pittsburgh Incline. Both of them are designed to scale Mount Washington.

What to Do By the Monongahela Incline

Many people wonder why they should go on the Pittsburgh Incline. What is there to do? Are there other attractions? While the ride on the Incline is a unique experience and offers great views of the city, there are other things to do.

The lower station of the Monongahela Incline is located near the Smithfield Bridge on East Carson Street in the Station Square. Just park the vehicle or take a taxi, ride on the Incline, see the beautiful skyline, and rise up to Grandview Avenue.

After going back down, there are plenty of shops and restaurants around. Plus, one can enjoy the entertainment around almost every corner.

What to Do By the Duquesne Incline

Ultimately, the Duquesne Incline is actually located on West Carson Street by Fort Pitt Bridge. There’s a clear view of the Point State Park and the best parks in Pittsburgh, which makes for another excursion to try while in the area. Plus, the parking lot is located there.

This Incline can carry people up to the Observation Deck. In fact, USA Today Magazine described the Duquesne Incline as one of the most beautiful views within America.

When at the top, there are plenty of things to snap pictures of. Both of the upper Incline stations offer historical exhibits, so everyone can browse the culture while they wait for the ride back down.

If that’s not enough of an adventure, make a day of it. Consider walking around Mt. Washington and spend the afternoon there.

What to Expect

Most people recommend sitting at the front of the car to get a great view of the city. Often, groups are surprised and excited by their first ride on the Pittsburgh Incline. However, it’s a little different than anything else, so be prepared.


Everyone seems to be bored with the same attractions and options when on vacation. It’s no longer fun to spend the entire trip in the hotel pool. Therefore, the Pittsburgh Incline might be a great alternative. The uniqueness and excitement are felt by everyone and offer many great memories and photo-taking opportunities.

Talk to a financial advisor for advice on saving up funds for your next trip.

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