A dashboard tracking the vital signs of downtown Pittsburgh.




Featured Story

Action to Support Arts & Vibrancy: Pittsburgh Opera Offers First-Of-Its-Kind Uber Vouchers for Attendees

back to dashboard

The Pittsburgh Opera offers free Uber vouchers to attendees for safe and convenient transportation to and from the downtown performing arts scene. This new ride-share voucher initiative aims to boost opera attendance by reducing parking and traffic concerns.


drop in subscriber ticket sales as a portion of total ticket sales since 2019


value of each Uber voucher


vouchers available per performance

½ mile

radius for Uber vouchers

Like many cultural attractions, the Pittsburgh Opera struggled to retain audiences during pandemic closures and is still actively working on a recovery. While single-ticket and group sales have improved since 2021, subscription numbers are still short of pre-pandemic levels, averaging just 43% of total ticket sales. Pre-pandemic, Pittsburgh Opera subscribers accounted for between 56% and 59% of the group’s total ticket sales.

Recognizing that now is the time to act and in order to rebuild its audience by drawing in new single-ticket buyers and encouraging loyal patrons to attend more performances, Opera officials are offering $60 Uber vouchers for up to 75 ticket buyers for each performance.

Opera attendees can secure a voucher on a first-come, first-served basis for spring and fall seasons throughout 2024. Funding for the initiative comes from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

The Uber vouchers will be available for “The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson,” which runs from April 27 to May 5 at the Byham Theater. Performances of “Tosca” in October and “Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci” in November also will participate in the Uber program.

To receive a voucher, Opera patrons must have an Uber account, use their voucher on their designated performance date and start their trip within a ½-mile radius of the theater. Organizers expect the attendees to transform the opera into a fun experience by using the voucher for transport after a pre-show dinner at a downtown restaurant or to stop for post-show drinks, providing more opportunities for a vibrant evening out in downtown.

While this voucher program is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh and for the opera community, similar Uber programs have popped up for temporary holiday events like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newport, Rhode Island, and New Year’s Eve in central Pennsylvania.

The debut of the Uber ride-share voucher for opera performances can offer valuable insight into whether parking and traffic difficulties are a cause of reduced attendance.

The short-term goal is removing barriers that keep attendees from shows; the long-term goal is to promote ride-sharing as a solid option for navigating a trip downtown to the Pittsburgh Opera.


    our partners

    get the updates

    Privacy Policy (opens in new tab)Terms of Use (opens in new tab)Cookie Policy (opens in new tab)Accessibility Statement (opens in new tab)Consent Preferences

    Submit inquiries and stories related to IndexPGH: info@indexpgh.com