PITTSBURGH — A year after opening the North Shore Connector, elected officials are talking with engineers about again extending Port Authority of Allegheny County's light-rail system. But a surge in the transit agency's light-rail ridership and development along the T over the past year rekindled interest in rail. Another new light rail line would travel through the West End neighborhoods to the Pittsburgh International Airport, which is about 20 miles west of Downtown. The rail yard extended to a spot near the present-day Lebanon Shops along Mount Lebanon Boulevard. We'll go where the community wants to go,” Ritchie said. The light-rail link from Downtown to the North Shore opened a year ago on Monday. Personally I think we need to start making these rural fucks, or even worse rich suburbanites pay for their own fucking local police. Registered professional engineer Kevin Creagh of Ohio Township said he and his consulting partner, data analyst Steve DiMiceli of Mt. A North Hills project would cost about $77 million per mile. brt is the way to go. Creagh said he and DiMiceli did not produce a proposal to extend a T line to Pittsburgh International Airport. A box car sits idle on the side rails. By comparison, it could cost $20 million to $100 million — or $6.5 million to $33 million per mile — to develop a bus rapid transit, or BRT, line between Downtown and Oakland, said Chris Sandvig, regional policy director for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group. “I think it's something we have to at least take a look at,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who organized a recent meeting with engineering consultants to discuss an extension. Envision Downtown director Sean Luther gives a presentation on public transportation to city planners, transit officials and community developers. Federal rules require that money from the drilling lease with Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. be used for airport-related purposes. The Hillcrest light-rail stop is not easy to find. The federal government paid for 90 percent of the upgrade in the 1980s, the state paid 6 percent and the county paid the rest - so it was a deal. The information below reflects the status of projects during development of the Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations. Share news, events, and thoughts with/about the Pittsburgh community. The drill is tunneling 22 feet underneath the Allegheny River, which is 25 feet deep. Seattle's Central Link light rail between Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport opened July 2009, with the South Lake Union Streetcar already open (1.3 miles) in downtown Seattle. The feds don't do that anymore. Expansion of Link Light Rail was already approved in Sound Transit’s Proposition 1, November 2008. Start by asking how the State Police received $4.7 billion from the Gas Tax increase. Incline Our inclines not only offer expansive views of the city, but provide a quick and convenient way to scale Mt. T ridership decreased year-to-year in the previous three years, after a 5.5 percent gain in 2008, APTA data show. The system is largely linear in a north-south direction, with one terminus just north of Pittsburgh's central business district and two termini in the South Hills. Nationally, light-rail ridership rose 4.5 percent last year, APTA said. Not to mention all the political boondoggles and opportunities for things to not work at all well, Plus it would take decades BTW. The coalition of community-based organizations is among groups studying ways to provide faster, more efficient transit service than an ordinary bus line. Haulk, whose organization studied and frequently criticized the North Shore Connector, questioned Creagh's cost estimate, noting the leg started out as a $240 million idea. Creagh, Shaler's township engineer, said Fitzgerald invited them to make the presentation. However, despite that, it really turned out to be successful and something that lived up to the intention of leaders in the community,” said Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie. They took the trolleys off the streets of downtown in 1985 when the subway opened. The North Shore Connector project is a 1.2-mile extension of the Pittsburgh light rail system from the existing Gateway station in downtown, under the Allegheny River, to the North Shore district. The existing system is an upgraded version of a trolley system that has been in the South Hills since the early 20th century and was saved because it ran on its own right-of-way. The North Shore Connector is a light-rail extension opened in 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’ve learned from cities like Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston that a regional rail system makes commuting easier and cheaper. I know the above will be unpopular, but those statements are incontrovertibly true. PITTSBURGH — A year after opening the North Shore Connector, elected officials are talking with engineers about again extending Port Authority of Allegheny County's light-rail system. It operates as a deep-level subway in Downtown Pittsburgh, but runs mostly at-grade in the suburbs south of the city. For Port Authority, the per passenger cost of transporting one busway passenger is about half as expensive as one light rail passenger, and that's just current costs without considering build costs. The Pittsburgh Light Rail, or "T", is a convenient transportation alternative for South Hills commuters. Port Authority's 2017 Annual Service Report, https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/3/21/the-folly-of-go-big-or-go-home-transit, https://www.strongtowns.org/discussion-board. The trains then looped around the rail yard for the return trip to Pittsburgh. A North Hills extension would run from the Allegheny Station near Heinz Field to Cranberry, roughly following the path of Interstates 279 and 79, Creagh said. There is no sign at either entrance. Hello, just wondering if there are any groups that I could become involved in that are trying to expand the T to reach more communities? The south hills just aren't dense enough for rail to make sense. The cost per passenger+build cost of expansion essentially means that significant rail expansion is never coming to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh light rail is rated pretty poorly in terms of efficiency when compared to other light rail systems. Check out the extreme difficulties, many issues and cost (overruns) they have had in Denver ( Denver Regional Transportaion District) in trying to do just that, build an expanded rail network. Buses/BRT are where it's at. Pittsburgh has too many hills and rivers to expand light rail through most neighborhoods. A rail right of way also already exists there, which would mean this is actually in the "realistic money" category. The system is owned and operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. Washington. Light rail is too expensive to build and operate. Busways are more flexible than rail because you can funnel the routes from suburban and neighborhood areas onto the busway at several access points. Press J to jump to the feed. ... Election shake-up in San Diego bodes well for envisioned $177 billion rail expansion . Adding to the comments regarding investment to expand the T, here's some operational data for comparison between two rapid service line on dedicated right-of-ways of similar length, which shows that from an operational cost standpoint, it makes little sense to expand the T: (This data is taken from the Port Authority's 2017 Annual Service Report). The Metro Rail Expansion project (Proposed Action) would extend the existing 6.4-mile light-rail transit (Metro Rail) system in Buffalo from its current terminus at University Station on the University at Buffalo South Campus to Tonawanda and Amherst. I know that cities like Denver, Dallas, Houston and Salt Lake City have largely funded expansion of light rail, and they did it by raising their local taxes or floating bonds or a combination of both. Transit officials said the underground system will separate light rail from downtown traffic ensuring a faster and safer commute. does wonders in the north, east and west of the city. The system’s owner, Pittsburgh Railways, bought out its competitors in the first decade of the century, bringing all urban transit in the region under its monopoly. Past discussion proposed extending a line along Route 65 and crossing the Ohio River en route to the airport, Fitzgerald said. Light rail is proven technology, and would be ideal for Pittsburgh, which basically grew up around the trolley system. Though the federal government provides money for transit capital projects, staffers for U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, said the congressmen did not participate in the meeting. It will also offer restaurants, retail and public restrooms. The big obstacle is funding. (One big factor is the Federal Regs make it much harder and costly than it needs to be)There it is relatively easy to build light rail lines too ( flat and straight) I just think here the costs alone would make it prohibitive. Haulk said county officials should consider directing limited transportation funding toward alleviating congestion on the Parkways East and West, which present bigger traffic headaches for commuters than the Parkway North. And with the cost to extend just about anywhere in the billions of dollars, there is very little political will locally or statewide to raise the revenue, because that means taxes. Washington, recently discussed a plan to extend the T with a group including Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Councilman Bill Peduto, whom Fitzgerald supports in the mayoral race, and several development officials. when they hand you hundreds of millions of dollars, use it for lift rail instead. Port Authority of Allegheny County is the public transit agency for the greater Pittsburgh area, providing bus, light rail, incline and paratransit service to about 230,000 riders daily.. For bus service and the "T" - Pittsburgh's light rail system - pay as you enter at the front door. Expanding our busways, especially the East busway by adding stops past South Braddock Avenue would change many more people's lives than would spending gigantic money for the bougies in Cranberry who wouldn't ride anyway. The Downtown-Oakland link (connecting two of the densest and most popular destinations in the city) would have high ridership, and would be inadequately served by BRT or “people movers”. The hov might as well be a busway to the north. For reference, see the data on the two blue lines, which go through less dense areas than the Red Line: Just say you need more money for the mon valley expeessway. There are a couple groups: The Allegheny County Transit Council is a Port Authority rider group that provides input to the board of directors, and there's a group called Pittsburghers for Public Transit. By Erin Lawley – Mar 3, 2008, 12:00am EST Updated Feb 29, 2008, 9:29am EST. Buses are where it’s at! Creagh said the project could alleviate traffic congestion and spur development in growing North Hills communities while revitalizing areas of Pittsburgh's East Allegheny neighborhood. We do have a pretty good busway system, with busways to the east, south and west. Without that funding, the Trax system isn't what it is today. I feel that Pittsburgh is over dependent on buses for areas that light rail could handle, and I want to do my part to push for such changes. Pittsburgh Business Times, March 3, 2008, Talks about the formation of the "Transportation Action Partnership" and its purpose of moving the spine line into reality. More than 7.7 million people rode the T last year, up 14.7 percent from the 6.7 million who used it in 2011, according to American Public Transportation Association data. i understand buses are for the poors but it is more efficient. I'm a big proponent of public transit, but as others have said, light rail rarely pencils out. Busses can work quite well, can be much more flexible to changing needs and ultimately improving bus service would cost a lot less. Take the East busway. By comparison, South Hills communities along the T are home to about 115,000 people, or more than 2,900 people per square mile. Learn about careers at Cox Media Group. © 2020 Cox Media Group. This station is part of Cox Media Group Television. The existing system is an upgraded version of a trolley system that has been in the South Hills since the early 20th century and was saved because it ran on its own right-of-way. Which as I see it the Port Authority has room for some improvement for sure. The Port Authority of Allegheny County, the largest transit agency in southwestern Pennsylvania, provides public transportation services throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Tucked between two hills in Bethel Park, it’s barely visible from nearby roads. Creagh said the engineers based cost estimates on those for several recently proposed light-rail projects, ranging from $65 million per mile for one in Phoenix to $100 million per mile for one in Seattle. Expansion of Pittsburgh's light-rail system to Oakland remains far off. Roughly 28,000 people ride the Pittsburgh area’s light-rail system every day, which is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. “I'd double any cost estimate they come up with,” Haulk said. Tips for Taking Public Transit. Metro of Pittsburgh America / United States. The project enables future expansion of the T to Pittsburgh International Airport, the Parkway West/Airport Corridor, the North Hills, and other areas within Allegheny County. Just tap your ConnectCard on th… The Pittsburgh Light Rail (commonly known as The T) is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) light rail system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and surrounding suburbs. Can't share source :(. The future of … Cookies help us deliver our Services. log in to manage your profile and account. Never run after the car or bang on the side of a vehicle. This means the T would have to go through very dense areas for it to be economically viable. They are essentially rail lines without the rail because they're on their own right-of-way. The first one is the subway, which runs underground through the city’s downtown, while the second one, the light rail runs through the southern neighborhoods. “The North Shore Connector obviously was a controversial project. Expansion of Pittsburgh's light-rail system to Oakland remains far off. By using this website, you accept the terms of our Visitor Agreement and Privacy Policy, and understand your options regarding Ad Choices. Simply put, there needs to be a much greater usage of a light rail line for it to be comparable in cost to operating a bus on a busway. Our light rail cars service 27 stations, utilizing 26.2 miles of track from the South Hills to the North Side. SLC expanded their light rail in large part from hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics. Strong Towns has done some writing on the topic: https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/3/21/the-folly-of-go-big-or-go-home-transit, I also suggest checking out their Slack if you want to have some really good conversations, especially about transit, with folks all over the country: https://www.strongtowns.org/discussion-board, New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. By linking the Light Rail North line into the General Robinson Garage/North Shore T Station, this is a way for Port Authority to justify calling it a multi-modal center. The federal government paid for 90 percent in the 1980s. The agency’s vision would also include expanding the region’s light-rail network. Walker says Pittsburgh’s busways “make sense” for areas they serve, and the region's light-rail makes sense for the areas it serves. The Stadtbahn name in Germany usually denotes light rail-type trains, but in Karlsruhe the transit system is a unique hybrid of light rail and regional rail. 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