Downtown Pittsburgh BRT will link to Uptown, Oakland, Wilkinsburg via the East Busway, Squirrel Hill, and Highland Park. Rendering via Port Authority of Allegheny County

Downtown Pittsburgh BRT will link to Uptown, Oakland, Wilkinsburg via the East Busway, Squirrel Hill, and Highland Park. Rendering via Port Authority of Allegheny County

The Port Authority of Allegheny County announced that after a review of public input, it has selected the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) option to connect downtown Pittsburgh to other parts of the city.

Downtown Pittsburgh will link to Uptown, Oakland, Wilkinsburg via the East Busway, Squirrel Hill, and Highland Park. The option has been designated as the locally preferred alternative for funding.

The selected "Core+2" option connects over 30,000 people through 24 neighborhoods with a service comparable to a light rail, but built more quickly at a lower cost.

Thousands of responses from Pittsburgh community members over several years preceded the BRT decision, including 2,500 responses from March and April.

Further goals of the BRT project beyond public transit include neighborhood growth and resident access to job centers, education, medical services, and cultural attractions.

BRT project map. Port Authority of Allegheny County

BRT project map. Port Authority of Allegheny County

Funding sources and transit station locations will be addressed in the following months as rapid network plans continue to develop. An environmental review and preliminary engineering for the project will be completed in summer 2017 before being submitted for federal funding in the fall. Currently, the estimated cost of the transit project is $233 million.

"The positive impact of this project will be felt for decades," said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

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