Mount Washington businesses, residents welcome Mon Incline’s reopening

The Monongahela Incline is running again after an over month-long closure because of electrical and mechanical problems.

Its return to service is welcomed by local businesses, residents and tourists in Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood.

“It’s stellar, it’s amazing, it’s so convenient. I just rented out a room to someone who works in Station Square, so he’s going to be using it every day,” said Mount Washington resident Geoff Lay, who spoke with Channel 11 as he rode the incline with his dog Bosco on Saturday.

The Mon Incline has had several setbacks since August. The most recent issue happened at the start of January — when Pittsburgh Regional Transit says a malfunction prevented the cars from slowing down as they approached the stations.

This malfunction led to a five-week shutdown while contractors made repairs and state officials inspected the 154-year-old incline.

It’s not only passengers who are happy to see it back in service, so are area businesses like Difiore’s Coffee and Ice Cream.

Owner Todd DiFiore says 95% of his business comes from visitors who take the incline up to the Shiloh Street shopping district.

“They are my silent partner, I love my Monongahela Incline. They have made me. They made my dream come true. I need them,” DiFiore said.

Other area restaurant owners feel similarly and say they took a hit from the Mon Incline shutting down several times this year.

RELATED COVERAGE >> Businesses remain frustrated as Mon Incline closure continues

“I’m sure they’re like super happy for the small businesses, especially the day before the Super Bowl, I don’t know if that was a factor but I am sure they’re pretty happy about it,” said Mount Washington Cullen Bolty.

All of the recent fixes were under contract of the 2022/2023 rehabilitation project and didn’t cost PRT or Allegheny County taxpayers additional money. Now that the historic incline is back in service, those who depend on it hope that all the problems are solved.

“It definitely brings positive aspects to my commuting when I want to go downtown,” Lay said.

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