U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 11-23-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: South Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA
875 posts, read 830,530 times
Reputation: 281

Advertisements

I suppose it's my turn today to usurp BrianTH's role as news jockey. Today's headline comes straight from the Post-Gazette:

$80.7 M sought for bus network

Quote:
The Port Authority has applied for $80.7 million in federal economic stimulus funds to accelerate its Better Bus plan -- a system of faster, more convenient routes that share many of the attributes of rail travel. The service overhaul approved by the authority board last month includes nine routes for the express service: to Wilkinsburg, Braddock, McKeesport, Homestead, East Liberty, Highland Park, Point Breeze, Homewood and Pittsburgh International Airport.

All of the routes would operate along the Fifth Avenue corridor between Downtown and Oakland, with 15 stations that feature off-board fare payment and display boards showing the next arrival time.

Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said the concept would be phased in over several years without the federal grant; the authority is seeking the money to expedite the plan.

"All of these things are possible. They're doing it in other cities," he said. "The only thing holding us back is the money."

Cleveland "has become the model ... for how to do the ideal rapid line through the city," he said.

Kevin Evanto, spokesman for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, said the service would stimulate development in the Mon Valley and better connect residents in those towns to job centers in Oakland and Downtown.
The authority's grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation said the project also would boost the long-depressed Hill District.

"The most visible impact of this investment in modern, state-of-the-art rapid transit will be to increase the economic competitiveness of the economically distressed 1.5-mile corridor between Downtown and Oakland. The area will become among the most desirable property for private-sector investment and development in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and indeed the entire mid-Atlantic region -- abandoned and underutilized property sitting between two giant job growth centers with seamless transit connections to both," the proposal states. It estimated up to $2 billion in investment over 10 years.
I for one am certainly glad to hear that the Port Authority is proactive in their measures that the proposed originating in the Transit Development Plan. I still believe that in order to make such a plan work more bus lanes and signal priorities would have to be designed along the Fifth-Forbes corridor, exactly how the article went on to describe the similar system in place in Cleveland.

However, in my opinion there is a weak link in this current routing, at least for the Mon Valley towns is the congestion along Murray Avenue. Several times now I've spent waiting close to 20 minutes on buses to get from Greenfield Ave. to Forbes via Murray. The Homestead and McKeesport buses must travel along this stretch, so potential added speed along the Fifth-Forbes corridor might be nullified by congestion along Murray. As far as I know there is no way of getting around this as Murray is a classic narrow, hilly, car-parked Pittsburgh street. The only idea I have in mind would be to divert the "rapid" buses along Beechwood Blvd. between Forbes and Browns Hill. The problem being that such a route would bypass much of the central business district of Squirrel Hill as well as Greenfield. I suppose local buses could still serve the Murray route.

Either way, I think that for the foreseeable future this will be the version of the "spine line" we will have to accept. I actually don't think this would be such a bad thing if PAT manages to pull it off correctly. To me, this would mean dedicated traffic right-of-way for buses and fewer stops for speedier service, which the eastern neighborhoods could sorely use.

Last edited by Impala26; 11-23-2009 at 11:35 AM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-23-2009, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,891 posts, read 7,816,066 times
Reputation: 2116
yeah, it seems this is a baby step towards the spine line. certainly it's better than no change and I'd think those buses could be redeployed elsewhere if they actually built the spine line. perhaps this is the right approach, build the ridership base, and thus increase demand for a better long term solution (spine line). it actually seems like a sensible approach that should have been taken years ago. one thing that concerns me is that if the numbers are correct, pittsburgh might do well in finding the money to implement this even if it requires revenue bonds.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
2,162 posts, read 2,687,469 times
Reputation: 1037
This is an interesting plan that could bring very good service in the chosen corridors. It's much cheaper than rail and much more flexible.

Perhaps the Mon Valley routes would stay on Forbes through Squirrel Hill, get on the busway and follow that to the Rankin Bridge. This would be a way to avoid the Murray Avenue congestion.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 02:12 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,892,631 times
Reputation: 2827
Sweet. As we have discussed before, this is practically a no-brainer investment and a crucial part of the TDP, but those investments might get delayed due to financing issues. If stimulus money can solve that problem and speed along the necessary capital investments, then great.

By the way, if the Spine Line ever does get built, then a lot of this investment would still be useful in terms of rapid feeder services into such a line. And meanwhile it would undoubtedly help orient development in places likely to benefit from a Spine Line.

Edit: By the way, when did "Rapid Bus" become "Better Bus"? I like the alliteration, but otherwise I think the "rapid" part is key to marketing this service.

Last edited by BrianTH; 11-23-2009 at 02:21 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
2,162 posts, read 2,687,469 times
Reputation: 1037
Sounds like "Better Bus" is the result of some consultant doing too many focus groups.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
4,262 posts, read 4,119,890 times
Reputation: 2853
Am I reading this right? Is the Port Authority asking the gov't for stimulus money for the overhaul? Why are they proposing thses changes when they don't have money to beging with?

Shysters (sp?)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,505 posts, read 1,258,270 times
Reputation: 1127
Woah nelly! Did I just read something about some forward-thinking on the part of the Port Authority?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,505 posts, read 1,258,270 times
Reputation: 1127
Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
Am I reading this right? Is the Port Authority asking the gov't for stimulus money for the overhaul? Why are they proposing thses changes when they don't have money to beging with?

Shysters (sp?)
These are additional changes that go above and beyond the proposed overhaul. And also, where would you like them to get the money to do the new project instead of federal stimulus money? Local taxpayers?

No.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-23-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,891 posts, read 7,816,066 times
Reputation: 2116
there's plenty of stimulus pork that's gonna go to worse uses than improving the city of pittsburgh's transportation system
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-24-2009, 04:14 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,892,631 times
Reputation: 2827
They are suggesting it is more a matter of timing than a yes/no proposition. We had discussed this a bit before: some of the Rapid Bus stuff was going to require some capital investment to implement, and the TDP simply stated it would be implemented as funding became available. That doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't do it eventually without stimulus funds, but their claim is that getting stimulus funds would allow them to immediately implement the plan.

And incidentally, this is exactly what this part of the stimulus is intended to do (allow local authorities to immediately get started on worthwhile transit projects to the benefit of the greater economy).
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top