Essential Pittsburgh
4:09 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

A Fresh Viewpoint on Pittsburgh Public Transit

Architect Intern Ben Samson designed a new and improved transit system for Pittsburgh for his graduate thesis.
Architect Intern Ben Samson designed a new and improved transit system for Pittsburgh for his graduate thesis.
Credit Ben Samson

Architect intern, Ben Samson, created a proposed transit map for Pittsburgh in his graduate thesis at Virginia Tech. The map has since gone viral and people are talking.

Samson believes his plan speaks to the core of what the city needs. He says he started working on this project because of his combined love for architecture and Pittsburgh. He wanted to take on the biggest architectural problem in town, the transit system.

Samson notes that Pittsburgh is a city full of neighborhoods, but it does not have a great system to stitch those neighborhoods together. His system includes 114 stations along 200 miles of track. Samson notes that he was not weighed down by cost when creating the plan and his estimation for the project cost would be roughly $6 billion.

Chris Sandvig, Regional Policy Director for the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, says given the current funding situation at the state and federal level, the cost isn't feasible. But he says we need to focus on making a transit system that fits the world class city of Pittsburgh. Sandvig also notes that now is the perfect time to talk about improvements, so that Pittsburgh will not be left behind when the economy is booming again.