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Busway Futures Study

Expanding Network Connections

Growth in the East End of Pittsburgh has given new life to the city’s long standing transit asset, the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway. Long perceived of as a commuter transit system to downtown, recent traffic statistics suggest growth in stop-to-stop trips and in lifestyle related trips. Real estate development has also changed the local landscape and new amenities and have transformed people’s perception of the busway. The Busway Futures study is a look into how local station improvements and area development around busway stations could accelerate the transformation of the functioning of the system.

herron-station-walkshedThe Busway Study examines key locations to help determine how each station could better contribute to the busway’s network, make key improvements for the stations, and create scenarios for TOD development. The study is also looking at larger regional economic development projections to understand influences on the network. The project draws upon observed and collected data at the site and system level and is referencing the Port Authorities new Transit Oriented Development guidelines.

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The study examines the East Busway stations at a high level and focuses on three stations in particular. The types of analyses includes: local land ownership, uses, planning policies (city and neighborhood), and conditions, relevant case studies, ecological constraints and opportunities, access for pedestrians, vehicles, and transit, capacity analysis of TOD area; operations assessment and optimization. The project will result in development guidelines: uses, envelope, spatial organization, access and parking, public investment: policies and incentives, re-zoning, infrastructure improvement, and management recommendations.

The project is examining the stations at three scales. At the Port Authority Station scale, the team is taking a brief look at the physical and operational challenges and opportunities and what improvements can be made. The study is most focused on the Station Areas, with an emphasis on how development in the area immediately adjacent to the station can create integrated and economically robust transit oriented development. Lastly, the project is looking the System Dynamics that shift because of the Station Area development and what regional development may mean for future Station Area projections.