Health Line – Cleveland, EUA, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from EMBARQ Brasil’s photostream

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) combines the efficiency of rail rapid transit with the low cost and flexibility of buses. Bus Rapid Transit provides faster and more efficient public transportation by using advanced technologies and improved infrastructure and scheduling. BRT concentrates service on major corridors. It allows riders to get to destinations quickly because there are less stops, but the buses are high capacity and there is less wait time at the special bus stops. It achieves this through the following features (via the Port Authority website):

Frequent Service Throughout the Day: Minimizing riders’ waiting times.
Simple Route Structure: Service is easy to understand.
Limited Stops: Allows for reduced travel times.
Exclusive Bus Lanes or Queue Jump Lanes: Allows buses to bypass stopped traffic, thereby reducing delays associated with operating in mixed traffic.
Branded Service: A catchy name and distinctive vehicles, stations and other facilities to distinguish it from non-BRT service.
Enhanced Stations: Distinctively designed passenger waiting facilities with special rider amenities.
Special Vehicles: BRT-dedicated buses with a sleek, rail-like appearance and low-level boarding that reduces time needed to board and disembark buses, and makes service more accessible.
Traffic Signal Priority: Special traffic signals extend the green light for buses so they can pass through intersections before the light changes.
Off-Vehicle Fare Collection: Helps eliminate delays associated with on-board fare collection.
Real-Time Information: Knowing when the next bus is arriving reduces uncertainty, making service more attractive.

Health Line – Cleveland, EUA, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from EMBARQ Brasil’s photostream

In Pittsburgh, the proposed initial focus would be to link Downtown with Oakland (and possibly other East End neighborhoods). Get There PGH is the driving force behind trying to bring BRT to our city. Get There PGH is a partnership of more than 30 community planners, innovators, nonprofits, community leaders, cyclists, city officials, educators, investors, neighborhood developers, business leaders, and civic partnerships. They know that having a strong, reliable public transportation system is essential for a community to thrive.

If you’d like to learn more about what Bus Rapid Transit can do for our city or to voice your opinions on this topic, there is a series of four upcoming community meetings:

Thursday, Sept. 27, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall, First Floor Ballroom
4227 Fifth Avenue, Oakland
(Hosted by Oakland Planning & Development Corporation and Oakland Transportation Management Association)

East End
Monday, October 1, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Carnegie Library – East Liberty (across from the East Liberty Presbyterian Church)
130 South Whitfield St., East Liberty
(Hosted by East Liberty Development, Inc.)

Thursday, October 4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
UPMC Mercy Hospital, Sr. Ferdinand Clark Auditorium
1400 Locust Street, Uptown
Free parking in Mercy Garage (ticket will be validated)
(Hosted by Uptown Partners)

Hill District
Hill District Community Meeting
Thursday, October 11, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at Kaufmann Center (next to the Hill House Center)
1825 Centre Avenue, Hill District

Health Line – Cleveland, EUA, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from EMBARQ Brasil’s photostream