So, you’re thinking about moving to Pittsburgh? Congrats! You’re considering a city with generous, friendly, and loyal community members. Pittsburgh has evolved into a technological hub and a cultural hotspot all while maintaining that small town, friendly feel. But, before you pack up the U-Haul, make sure you know what to expect when you become a Pittsburgher. Here are 10 things you need to know before moving to Pittsburgh:
1. Get ready for the potholes.
Pittsburghers know how to maneuver those pesky potholes whether they're traveling by car, by bicycle, or even on foot. But, even the savviest of drivers can inadvertently hit a pothole, causing damage to their vehicles. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto initiated several three-day pothole blitzes in the last few years to help combat the ever-growing problem.
2. You'll pay seven percent sales tax if you live in Allegheny County.
The statewide sales tax in Pennsylvania is six percent. However, if you live in Pittsburgh (Allegheny County), you'll pay an extra one percent. The one percent was added on to the general sales tax in 1998, without the voters' approval, and was intended to be temporary to help build PNC Park. If it's any consolation, residents of Philadelphia pay an extra two percent, taking their sales tax to eight percent. And, you won't pay sales tax on food (unless it's prepared), clothing, and textbooks in Pennsylvania.
3. What's Wawa? Pittsburghers frequent Sheetz.
Once you enter Western Pennsylvania, you'll see an abundance of red signs bearing the name “Sheetz.” Eastern Pennsylvania goes to Wawa while those of us in Pittsburgh fill up our gas tanks, stop for snacks, and buy that quick gallon of milk at
4. We have four seasons and you just might experience all four in one day.
Finicky may be one of the fairest ways to describe Pittsburgh's weather. Leave for school or work in the morning in your winter coat and throw on your shorts when you get home at the end of the day. Pittsburgh experiences the four seasons, sometimes all in one day. Will you get used to it? Depends on whether you're a go with the flow kind of person or you like predictability.
5. Pittsburgh has a language all of its own.
Yinz want to go dahntahn and watch the Stillers at Heinz Field? Pittsburghers, by and large, speak Pittsburghese. Whether you like it or not, it will likely rub off on you too, especially the longer you live here.
6. The Burgh has an abundance of hills and bridges.
As a driver and a resident of Pittsburgh, you'll have to get used to the many hills and the bridges throughout the city. Although beautiful, the hills wreak havoc with drivers during the snow and ice of the winter. As for the bridges, of which there are 446, you'll learn where they go but, a word of caution, don't cross a bridge if you're lost. It will just lead to more confusion.
7. Pittsburgh has a somewhat lackluster public transportation system.
Pittsburgh has a light rail system that extends from Library to South Hills Village and Library to the North Side. The 26 mile light rail system offers an efficient way to travel for those in its service area. Others use PAT buses, which means waiting for a bus that may run late or that may require you to leave for work extra early just to make it on time. PAT does offer some express routes. Check out the Port Authority of Allegheny County
8. Downtown Pittsburgh parking fees are outrageous.
Not a fan of Pittsburgh's public transportation system? You can always drive. However, driving to downtown Pittsburgh from the suburbs can often translate into a time-consuming hassle that's only compounded by the high parking fees in both the city's public parking lots and on the streets. Consider a parking lot lease if driving to town is your only option. Learn more about the Pittsburgh Parking Authority
9. You choose your energy supplier.
You have choices when you live in Pittsburgh. Living in the Pittsburgh area means you aren't assigned to an energy supplier with which you will be stuck. You can, in fact, choose your energy supplier so be prepared for the sales pitches you'll get in the mail and carefully research your options before making your decision. Learn more from the
Pittsburgh Public Utility Commission
10. You'll find plenty to do – no matter what your interests.
Sure, your kids or grandkids may lament that there is just nothing to do during the long summer months but, in reality, you'll find plenty to do in the Burgh, no matter what your interests or your age. In addition to fiercely loyal sports fans, Pittsburgh also has a vibrant Cultural District, a ton of outdoor activities from kayaking to biking, shopping, dining, and everything you could really want from a big city with a small town feel.
These are just 10 things you need to know before moving to Pittsburgh. What else should make the list? Offer your advice for new Pittsburghers in the comments below!