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Pittsburgh's busways ranked among best in country

| Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 10:31 p.m.

A New York transit policy group ranks Port Authority of Allegheny County's East, West and South busways among the nation's top bus rapid transit lines.

“Out of seven corridors in the nation that are considered true bus rapid transit, Pittsburgh has three,” said Iva Benson, spokeswoman for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Institute officials will host a news conference on Wednesday morning near the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to discuss rankings from its recently released report, BRT Standard. The report identifies common features of BRT lines, which are growing in popularity worldwide but vary widely from city to city. Common features include dedicated lanes and rights-of-way for buses.

The report recognizes the world's top 67 BRT lines. Port Authority's Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway was named a Bronze Standard BRT line. The nine-mile line between Downtown and Swissvale opened 30 years ago and carries about 25,000 passengers a day. The West and South busways were recognized as Basic BRT lines.

Port Authority and community groups are studying ways to develop a BRT line between Downtown and Oakland, with possible extensions to neighborhoods farther east.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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