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Allegheny

Officials submit new application for federal Bus Rapid Transit funding

Theresa Clift
| Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, 2:00 p.m.

Officials have submitted a revised application seeking federal funding for Pittsburgh’s Bus Rapid Transit to connect Downtown and Oakland with electric buses.

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority submitted the application last week seeking nearly $100 million from the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program, said Adam Brandolph, a Port Authority spokesman.

The $195.5 million project will connect Downtown to Oakland on buses that operate in their own lanes along Fifth and Forbes avenues.

The authority expects to hear whether the FTA chose the project for funding in late winter or early spring, Brandolph said. Last year, the FTA made the announcement in February. The Pittsburgh project was not chosen but received a “high” rating overall.

It’s one of 33 project applications nationwide in the Small Starts Project Development Phase, according to an FTA web page .

In April, newly hired authority CEO Katharine Eagan Kelleman announced the authority would change its BRT plan so no bus routes would have service cuts.

The authority announced in May 2017 that, as a result of the project, several Mon Valley routes would lose nonstop service to Downtown. Additionally, transferring could come with a fee.

Many Mon Valley riders, who rely heavily on public transit, raised concerns about that plan, leading to the change.

Officials plan to start construction on the project in 2019 and to have it up and running by late 2021.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Theresa at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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