Big deal! Right now! New Changes Proposed for Downtown Transit

image description: photo credit Pittsburgh Union Progress. Two maps of downtown with outlines for the two new proposed routing scenarios. Looks like a very complicated mess of colored lines. People should check out PRT’s website for accessible versions of this info:

Wait, what’s going on? PRT is proposing big changes to downtown bus routes, and you have until March 26th to give your feedback.

Bus routes are undergoing a serious overhaul. Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT)  is proposing to redesign how buses move through Downtown Pittsburgh. This is a big deal and one that all transit riders should evaluate and give feedback on! The proposed “bus network redesign” will likely have a big impact on, among other issues:

  • where the buses stop and pick up passengers, which may change how close your destination is to where your bus drops you off.
  • how quickly buses are able to move through Downtown streets– for instance, buses could drive in more parts of Downtown but run the risk of being stuck behind car traffic, or drive primarily through a few dedicated bus-only lanes but cover less of Downtown.
  • how easy it is to transfer between different buslines. This bus redesign will likely change how close routes are to each other that riders use for transferring, and also the timing of those transfers.
  • how safe the streets and sidewalks are where transit routes are stopping, and how comfortable the bus stops are for transit riders. The network redesign might prioritize stops that have better amenities like shelters, benches and real-time arrival information, or choose to space out stops so that passenger overcrowding at the stops or on particular buses is less of an issue.

Some of these changes will yield other surprising benefits – for instance, buses taking fewer turns in a dense urban area leads to fewer collisions. And buses that drive on fewer streets downtown will move through their routes and schedules faster and more reliably, which can create labor and cost savings that could allow for more bus service. But there are trade-offs around access and walking times that riders should consider.

PRT’s Public Process Schedule and Opportunities – Give feedback before March 26th

You can help PRT decide how to prioritize their decision-making (faster buses, or buses that go more places Downtown?), and look at how your particular bus route might change under different proposals. 

Unfortunately, PRT announced a very quick public meeting schedule with very little lead time. So there aren’t any more opportunities to join live info sessions. However, you can give input through their online portal until March 26th, and review how the two top-line scenarios would impact your particular bus route. You can then select a preferred route network and give comments about concerns or opportunities that you see from this process. They also have a lot of maps and other visual information with background about how downtown works for transit on their website.

If you have any issues reading the maps or graphics, reach out to us and we can help advocate for a solution –