Once there was a transit vision
So what is the answer? Why does the T only service the South Hills? Take this as the Chris Briem answer you are free to disagree with, but it all is pretty clear to me. There is a question that has to come first. Where was rapid transit supposed to go? See below for the vision of the 92-mile rapid transit system envisioned by the 1967 Allegheny County Rapid Transit Study. Even the East Busway as we know it was built with a foundation to hold Light Rail until even that limited vision was abandoned just a few months ago. Why was the vision curtailed? The short answer is the imbroglio called Skybus. Like so many things in this region we fight, we confuse, and the 2nd best solution devolves to no solution before all is said and done. By the time Skybus was officially declared kaput the energy for transit in the region was drained completely and the powers that be Downtown basically gave up on rapid transit. There would be handwaving along the way, but it has never been anything more than that for decades. What we see in the T is merely what inertia wrought from literally decades of effort for something grander. Even the obvious extension of rapid transit to Oakland in the form of the Spine Line would be twisted into the runners up prize now known as the North Shore connector. If there was not for a momentary vision of Riverboat gambling in the city (remember?), not coincidentially right at the site where the Rivers Casino sits today, I personally doubt the North Shore Connector would have made it much further than the Spine Line ever did. I do not joke on that; such is the logic of reactionary planning lacking any strategic vision. The region's motif is how we so convolute paths that when all is said and done, nobody can understand how we arrived where we did so disconnected it all becomes from where anything begins.
and to think I typed that all up in a five minute fit and did not once mention... no.. I can't do it. We will leave the unmentionable unmentioned.