PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Port Authority’s new CEO, Katharine Kelleman, welcomed Jane Williams, head of the Federal Transit Administration, who was in town to hand out some cash.
“We are giving a $3.6 million grant to the Port Authority of Allegheny County to modernize their bus fleet,” Williams announced at a press conference at the Allegheny Station on the North Side Wednesday.
Williams said 453 transit agencies applied for the money, but only 139, including Allegheny County, got the dollars.
Kelleman says the Authority will purchase new efficient buses.
“They are super clean burning. We clean our own diesel filters, but virtually nothing is coming out of the exhaust pipe on that bus. They are quieter. They have a smoother ride,” she said.
KDKA money editor Jon Delano asked Kelleman about WiFi on buses.
“Stay tuned. But we will be bringing you WiFi and USB ports in the future,” she said.
Besides the grant to purchase new buses like this, KDKA also asked the federal administrator about a proposal called Bus Rapid Transit or BRT.
The Port Authority has asked for $100 million from the feds for this project in Pittsburgh.
So what’s the status of that?
Williams said it was early in the process but she likes BRT, which locally would take passengers from Oakland to Downtown in a matter of minutes.
“We have funded 10 grants within this administration. Many of those are Bus Rapid Transit. We see a real win for transit and the community when that is used,” said Williams.
Local transit officials hope to have the project up and under construction by 2020.