Bus Rapid Transit

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

A Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT system has been in the works in one form or another for more than a decade in Pittsburgh. It has been hailed as a way to make public transportation more efficient and more appealing, as well as a means to support economic growth in the region.

90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced Friday morning that his office will review the effectiveness of hiring practices at the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC) and analyze the authority’s service. DePasquale said now is an ideal time for a performance audit.

“If we’re going to be competitive in this region economically, having a vibrant Port Authority is critical to meet those needs.”

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is halfway through his second term in office. 90.5 WESA's Kevin Gavin sat down with Fitzgerald to discuss his goals for the county in 2018.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

KEVIN GAVIN: Let's start with what you think were the major developments during 2017 before we start talking about the new year. 

90.5 WESA

Extending the Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway could generate between 800 and 2,400 more daily riders in 2035, according to a feasibility report completed for the Port Authority in September by engineering firm Gannett Fleming. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Oct. 9, 2017 at 4:18 p.m.

Braddock residents crowded into a meeting Monday night to express their concerns with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan. It was the first of three meetings the Port Authority will hold in outlying communities whose service could be affected by the $200 million project.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh’s Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT, plan got a financial boost Monday from a regional planning agency. The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission voted unanimously to add the $196 million project to its long-term transportation plan.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will burden communities that most depend on public transportation with higher costs and less frequent service, according to protesters who gathered Thursday in Braddock to speak out against the plan.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-area residents concerned over the possible impact of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system addressed the Port Authority Board Friday morning with complaints include feeling left out of the planning process and fears over access.

Jim Mone / AP

The state Department of Health granted a dozen licenses this week to companies that will grow and process medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. These 12 permittees have six months to become operational, which the state has yet to clearly define.

WESA's Liz Reid and The Incline's Sarah Anne Hughes discuss what Pennsylvanians can expect from medical marijuana in the state.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

Though Pittsburgh’s bus rapid transit project, or BRT, might not be eligible for federal funding, the planning process is moving forward with a series of public meetings to gather feedback on street design and where to put new BRT stations.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is seeking public input as it finalizes plans for Pittsburgh's long-awaited bus rapid transit system.

Riders can offer suggestions at upcoming neighborhood meetings about street design, station locations and what amenities they’d like to see at each station, like benches and Connect Card machines. They'll also offer general updates and allow for questions about the planning process, spokesman Adam Brandolph said.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

A route was selected, preliminary studies were planned and local officials intended to submit grant applications to fund the Bus Rapid Transit corridor in the fall.

Those plans may now be on hold.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget provides no funding for new projects under the federal Capital Investment Grant which was expected to provide about $80 to $100 million for the roughly $233 million project, said Robert Rubinstein, executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

After years of initial planning and study, a route has been selected for the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system, or BRT. The route will connect 24 neighborhoods and serve 31,000 people.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

  Plans are moving forward on the construction of a bus rapid transit system, or BRT, between the city’s two largest employment centers: Downtown and Oakland.

Developers proposed four route options based on analysis and public input. 

Courtesy: City of Pittsburgh

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority a $1.2 million grant for transit-related development in Uptown.

Development carved through Uptown, Oakland, Downtown and the East End, known to senior city planner Justin Miller as the “EcoInnovation District,” is designed to make more effective use of the city's resources as a key component to its Bus Rapid Transit corridor.

Flickr user Joseph Wingenfeld

The Port Authority of Allegheny County has been studying the prospect of running a rapid bus line through Uptown from Oakland to downtown for several years now, and though the project is still several more years from becoming a reality, city planners are bracing for a wave of development along the Fifth Avenue and Forbes Avenue corridors.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County approved shifting $1.56 million dollars from its capital budget to add to the amount needed to study a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland.

Port Authority Chairman Bob Hurley said an initial engineering and environmental study is a critical part of the process.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Bill Peduto does not move into the mayor's office until January, but he said his work has already begun.

Peduto said Wednesday his first order of business was to notify all directors to hold off on hiring new people and not to move forward with plans that would impact future years without consulting his chief of staff Kevin Acklin.

The 49-year-old Peduto captured 84 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, easily defeating a pair of opponents in a city where Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans.