How to Ride the Pittsburgh Inclines

It's a question we get asked all the time. So, we're giving you the low-down on going up.

Inclines, commonly known as Funiculars Railways, can be found all over the world and throughout history. These railways are designed to transport people and cargo up and down steep slopes. And if there is one thing Pittsburgh has, it's steep slopes. You've probably noticed the iconic Pittsburgh Inclines that make our skyline so unique. 

The Difference Between Pittsburgh's Two Inclines

The Duquesne Incline (pronounced "doo-KANE") has red cars and is visible from The Point, while The Monongahela Incline (commonly called "The Mon Incline") has yellow cars and can be seen from the South Shore. 

Incline History

Originally opened in the 1870s to service those who lived on Mount Washington, the two inclines that remain in use are the last of four that served the Mt. Washington area. Today, they have become more than just a means of transportation. They are still used by local commuters to enter downtown, but they have evolved into our favorite way to show off the city skyline. 

How much are incline tickets?

Both inclines cost $5 roundtrip with certain discounts for children and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the upper or lower station for both inclines. The Monongahela Incline will accept credit cards, but the Duquesne Incline is exact cash only.

Can I Use A Connect Card to Ride the Incline?

The inclines are public transportation, so Port Authority Connect Cards work to pay for a trip as well. If you don't have a Connect Card, the Mon Incline will accept credit cards, but the Duquesne Incline is exact cash only.

When are the inclines open?

The inclines are open 365 days a year and run approximately every 15 minutes. Hours are: 

  • Monday through Saturday: 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. 
  • Sundays and Holidays: 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Finding the Inclines

To find these historic landmarks, cross the Monongahela river (the one south of Downtown) by either the Smithfield Street or Fort Pitt Bridge and enter Pittsburgh’s South Shore. You will find the lower stations of both inclines where you can purchase ride tickets. 

Which Incline Is Better? 

The two inclines both scale the side of Mount Washington and both have equally stunning views. We can't tell you which one is better, because we love them both so much! You really can't go wrong with either choice.

Things to Do Near The Monongahela Incline 

The Monongahela Incline lower station is located on East Carson Street near the Smithfield Bridge in Station Square. It is surrounded by restaurants, shops and entertainment. Here, you can park and hop on the incline to enjoy the stunning city skyline as you rise to Grandview Avenue.

Things to Do Near The Duquesne Incline

The Duquesne Incline is located down the street on W Carson Street just west of the Fort Pitt Bridge in view of Point State Park and has a provided parking lot. This incline carries you to an Observation Deck that USA Today Weekend Magazine described as one of the “10 most beautiful views in America.” 

Once you get to the top, you'll find more than an Instagram-worthy view. Both upper incline stations also provide historical exhibits to browse through while waiting between rides. And why not make a day of it? Strolling around Mt Washington is a great way to spend an afternoon. Be sure to check out some of the awesome dining options!

Pro Tip: Sit at the front of the cable car for the best view of the city.  ⬇️

What to Expect

Your first ride on a historic funicular might be surprising and exciting. Check out these photos and videos so you know what to expect during your trip up The Mount. ⬇️