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Bus rapid transit plans advancing, public review sessions next week

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is taking the next step in its exploration of bus rapid transit (BRT).  Next week, a series of three community input meetings are being held throughout the city to provide the public with opportunities to review and comment on potential alternate alignments for the proposed system.

Last summer, the Port Authority began a $1 million study of BRT between Downtown, Oakland, and East End neighborhoods.  Although the study is still in progress, the purpose of next week’s meetings is to share with the public what BRT could potentially look like in those neighborhoods, including routing, changes to traffic lanes, and the possibility of added bicycle lanes.

This current study of BRT is using a “complete streets” approach, according to Heather Pharo, of the Port Authority.  This means access for all users-- including transit, bicyclists, pedestrians, and general auto traffic—is being taken into account.

The study is being conducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff, and includes an environmental assessment, route alternatives, and general economic impact on communities in the corridor. 

BRT is a form of bus transit that operates similar to a traditional street-rail system, with dedicated stations, route priority, and platform fare collection, among other efficiency measures. 

Get There PGH, a partnership of over 30 neighborhood organizations, has been leading the effort to advance BRT in Pittsburgh, of which the Port Authority is stakeholder.

Meetings will be held at the following locations and times:

Hill District: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Hill House Kaufman Center Auditorium, 1825 Centre Avenue

Oakland: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Carnegie Mellon University, University Student Center, Rangos Ballroom 3, 5032 Forbes Avenue

East End: Thursday, April 26, 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, East Liberty Presbyterian Church Social Hall, 116 South Highland Avenue

Uptown: Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, UPMC Mercy Hospital, 1400 Locust Street, Sr. Ferdinand Clark Auditorium, 2nd. Fl., Bldg. D.  Free Parking in Mercy Garage. Ticket will be validated.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Heather Pharo, Port Authority
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