PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto took a tour Wednesday of some of the places a so-called BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit line, could run in Pittsburgh.
They first saw the concept in Cleveland last summer.
It operates a lot like light rail. The doors open on either the left or the right, the platforms are at door-level, and the line has its own right of way within city streets.
It’s an idea for a link between Downtown and Oakland with limited stops.
“A lot of the buses that are coming through here now won’t come through any more because they’ll just come to the BRT line,” said Fitzgerald. “Then, people will jump on the BRT line.”
“In addition to being able to move people, the BRT could potentially – if done right – also increase the property value in the surrounding area,” said City Councilman Daniel Lavelle.
But the narrow lanes of Fifth and Forbes Avenues Uptown mean a decision has to be made as to just how such a plan would be implemented.
There have been many studies about light rail and other options, between Downtown and Oakland, all of which are more expensive in terms of cost and the time it would take to build.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes: “Do you favor Fifth or Forbes or are you at that point?”
Mayor Peduto: “I’ll be real honest with that; I do favor a Forbes-Fifth combination because I think that both corridors would be benefited by it instead of a strict Fifth. But if we did do a strict Fifth there’s still opportunities to develop Forbes into maybe a bike-only process in a pedestrian bike environment as well.”
You can expect public hearings on some of these proposals to begin in the next few months.