“Small starts” to spur big growth


“Uptown urban renewal is a major part of [Pittsburgh’s] Downtown-Oakland BRT system” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh investing in transit as revitalization strategy

Two of Pennsylvania’s largest employment hubs—downtown Pittsburgh and the Oakland neighborhood—are connected by a three-mile bus ride. Now the city wants to take that transit connection to the next level, and bring those same benefits to other neighborhoods east of Oakland.

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and the Port Authority want to build a bus rapid transit line between the two centers and further eastward into other neighborhoods using a Small Starts Grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The project, expected to cost approximately $195 million, would rebuild Fifth and Forbes Ave with dedicated lanes for buses and bikes. The plan also includes queue jumps to allow buses to move ahead of regular traffic, and adaptive traffic signals installed throughout the route to prioritize the buses carrying more people.

The new transit line and reconstruction of the streets are just part of a larger place-based economic development plan for Pittsburgh. The project coincides with the Uptown Eco-Innovation District, an extensive plan to spur inclusive job growth and resilient, equitable development in the Uptown and West Oakland communities.

“From the beginning, the Bus Rapid Transit project has been as much about urban renewal in the Uptown neighborhood as it has been about moving commuters between Downtown and Oakland.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With both plans in motion, Pittsburgh has set the foundations to providing greater access to economic opportunities for thousands of residents in the surrounding communities. Learn more about FTA’s Small Starts Grants and access additional resources for driving economic development and employment through TOD investments in the TODresources.org archive.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.