Upgrades to S. Negley Station begin Feb 14th. Port Authority also awarded 3 other grants to improve Wilkinsburg Station, build 4 miles of sidewalks, and improve 8 high-use bus stops throughout the system!
After a years-long planning process, Port Authority will begin construction on Phase 1 upgrades to S. Negley Station on the East Busway on February 14th. (The perfect Valentines Day gift for the East Busway lover).
Phase 1 will include improvements to the accessible ramp from S Negley Ave to the station. Port Authority estimates that construction will take approximately 3-months, during which time riders will need to detour from the S Negley Ave station to Ellsworth Ave, turn left and walk 1 block to Summerlea St, then walk down to the Summerlea St station entrance. The detour will be a pain, for sure, but improvements to the S Negley St entrance will certainly be worth it.
Future phases of the Negley Station Improvement Project will include new shelters at the inbound and outbound platforms, new lighting, a full-coverage waiting area for those being picked up or dropped off, and other upgrades to improve the flow of pedestrians and buses through the station area.
New grants to Port Authority will fund much-needed improvements to Wilkinsburg Station, 4-miles of sidewalks leading up to transit stops, and upgrades to 8 high-ridership bus stops!
Also exciting: just this week Port Authority announced that they were awarded three new grants and some County funding to begin upgrades to the Wilkinsburg Busway Station. Riders and residents have long been calling for improvements to Wilkinsburg Station, which offers easier access to those who drive their cars to the station than those residents and workers who need to walk to the stop. This grant will build a new building at the station and may even reorient the station to be more accesible to the Wilkinsburg business district. All of this work will hopefully lay the foundation for major affordable Transit Oriented Development that needs to take place at this station.
In addition to the grant received for Wilkinsburg station, Port Authority received a second grant to build out 4 miles of sidewalks to connect to transit. This is a definite win for riders who have been uplifting safe pedestrian access as a serious barrier to transit. In the past, Port Authority’s response to concerns about safe access has been to eliminate the stop. This cuts people off from transit and is obviously not an approach we want to see.
It is true that sidewalk maintenance is a complicated issue. Municipalities are frequently the ones that own sidewalks, not Port Authority, and oftentimes these municipalities pawn off the responsibility of maintenance to individual property owners who may not be able to foot the bill for repairs (the City of Pittsburgh does this). So we’re glad that Port Authority is proactively finding solutions to the issue. Now we need Municipalities to do the same.
The third and final grant received by PAAC was to upgrade 8 high-use stops throughout the system. Upgrades will center on adding rubber pads at stops to give more room for riders to wait and make it easier/faster for buses to pick up passengers.
We’re here for these upgrades. Now we need to keep pushing for more.