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Bus Rapid Transit Study

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In collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, Port Authority of Allegheny County is conducting a study to evaluate opportunities to improve transit service in the corridor that includes Downtown, Uptown, Oakland and other East End neighborhoods.

The purpose of this study is to determine the best way to improve access to and within the corridor in order to support economic development and community revitalization in these communities.

Investment in this area will strengthen connections between the job centers of Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland – and beyond to other neighborhoods – with transit that is easier to use and more pleasant to ride.

Between Spring 2015 and Summer 2016, potential configurations for transit routing – including bus rapid transit (BRT) – will undergo a review process to assess impacts to the physical, socioeconomic and transportation environments. This process will include opportunities for public input on these factors as well as the location and design of possible BRT stations. Finally, this process will result in the selection of a locally preferred alternative, which will be advanced to regional and federal agencies for approval.

DOWNTOWN–UPTOWN–OAKLAND–EAST END BUS RAPID TRANSIT CORRIDOR Scoping Booklet for National Environmental Policy Act Review (PDF) provides an overview of the process currently underway. It will be provided to participants at public meetings. Print copies are available by request.

Collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh has launched an effort to coordinate multiple complimentary planning projects in the corridor that includes Downtown, Uptown, Oakland and other East End neighborhoods.

This effort aims to capitalize on the community and economic development potential of these neighborhoods by improving mobility and creating better connections within the corridor and to the larger region.

The City will knit together neighborhood-based planning projects, which will influence Port Authority’s planning for improved transit service and infrastructure.

One such neighborhood-based planning project is the Uptown EcoInnovation District. The goal of this project is to revitalize the Uptown neighborhood, fostering a community in which equity, environmental and financial sustainability, and public and private sector innovation can thrive.

Uptown EcoInnovation District and transit corridor planning will take place concurrently and in close coordination. Planning throughout the corridor will include a clear, integrated and transparent civic engagement process.

Public Participation & Meeting Schedule

Two public meetings took place in early May at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. 

At these meetings, the City of Pittsburgh provided an overview of coordinated planning efforts in the corridor along Fifth and Forbes avenues, including Downtown, Uptown, Oakland and other East End neighborhoods. Efforts involve a review of ongoing planning for transit improvements, including BRT, and upcoming planning for an EcoInnovation District in the Uptown neighborhood.

View presentation materials from the May meetings. (PDF)

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which governs transit planning, the environmental review process will allow the public to provide comment on environmental issues and the purpose and need for transit improvements.

Additional public meetings are expected prior to the selection of a locally preferred alternative, at the end of the environmental review. Dates and times will be posted here and promoted through traditional channels including newspaper ads and social media.

Study Background

The study of transit improvements, including BRT, began in 2011 with identification, development and analysis of potential routings through the corridor. Based on public and stakeholder input and project team proposals, an initial set of 28 options in five different segments of the corridor was identified. 

These options were entered into a two-step screening process. Those that were too costly, did not improve transportation or did not sufficiently serve the community were eliminated.

A process based on technical evaluation, as well as public and stakeholder input, resulted in five remaining options. These will be evaluated through the environmental review process discussed above.

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