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Transit Operators Committee
Transportation Techincal Committee

Department Director:
Doug Smith
(412) 391-5590 x327


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Two Chatham Center Suite 500
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219rections
(412) 391-5590 (P)
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Transportation: Public Transportation

In 2013, SPC continued to advance its strong commitment to public transportation options, regional transit coordination, alternatives to fixed-route transit delivery systems, and linking land use and transit planning initiatives.

Regional Transit Project Planning and Implementation

Through its Transit Operators Committee, SPC advanced cooperative regional initiatives and provided technical assistance to the region’s sponsors of public transit projects and services in 2013. 

Transit project sponsors in the region utilized over $22 million in Capital Assistance in FY2013 to maintain and upgrade the region’s bus fleets. The Port Authority of Allegheny County; Beaver, Indiana and Westmoreland County Transit Authorities; and the Mid-Mon Valley and New Castle Area Transit Authorities purchased large buses. Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Washington Counties purchased small buses and vans.

A breakdown of capital spending by the region’s transit project sponsors shows that bus purchases accounted for 31% of capital spending in FY2013.

Transit Capital Projects SW PA - FY2013

The other most significant regional transit investment made in FY2013 was continuing maintenance and upgrades to the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s busway and light rail bridges and fixed-guideway facilities. Major improvements included bridge repairs along the West Busway and upgrades to the fixed-guideway IT systems.

Transit project sponsors within the region also advanced projects related to Alternative Fuels, High-Tech Customer Information Systems, and Customer Amenities, including park-n-ride facilities.  Significant projects included:

  • Real Time Traveler Information Systems for Busway and Light Rail Lines – Port Authority of Allegheny County - $3.8 million
  • Expansion of major park-n-ride facility in Butler County – Butler Transit Authority - $1.3 million
  • Construction of Intermodal Transit Facility in Downtown Washington – City of Washington Transit - $800,000
  • Plan for Expansion and Upgrade of the Expressway Travel Center including a CNG Fueling Facility – Beaver County Transit Authority - $200,000

Transit Project Programming and Regulatory Compliance

In 2013, SPC responded to its federal, Commonwealth and regional transit planning partners to advance planning and programming activities for important project planning and regulatory compliance efforts.  Specific activities included:

  • USDOT - Pittsburgh TMA – 2013 Planning Process Certification Review
  • USDOT - Technical review process for regulatory compliance with provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) federal transportation legislation
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA) - Local Sub-Allocation process participants - FTA Urban Area Formula funding for former Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) program recipients
  • PennDOT Bureau of Public Transportation Southwestern Pennsylvania Transit Agency Regionalization and Privatization Study
  • PennDOT Program Center - Catalyst Team for the Results Oriented Planning initiative
  • City of Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority – FTA  - TIGER IV grant for transportation improvements at the East Liberty Port Authority of Allegheny County Martin Luther King East Busway TOD project
  • Washington County - PennDOT Bureau of Public Transportation studies:  Financial Impact of Washington County Transit Consolidation and Washington County Transit Consolidation Implementation Plan

Regional Mobility Planning and Land Use

Fit Website!

SPC provided technical assistance to transit project sponsors, communities and regional stakeholders to advance linkages between land use and transit project planning with an emphasis on transit oriented development (TOD) throughout the region.  Projects included:

  • Completion of Mon Valley Places project – implementation of the Future Investment in Transit Oriented Development (FIT) concepts in the Lower Monongahela Valley in Allegheny County - public workshops in Clairton, Turtle Creek, Homestead, Rankin and McKeesport - creation of TOD station area prototypes and Community Transit service models to guide future community investment  
  • Completion of “FIT Zoning” - web-based interactive tool for municipalities looking to use zoning to encourage TOD - including model overlay TOD zoning regulations
  • Technical support for Pittsburgh Regional TOD Strategy and Typology Study – Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group/Center for Transit Oriented Development – comprehensive study of Port Authority of Allegheny County fixed-guideway assets – development of region-specific processes for incentivizing TOD around station areas
  • Technical assistance to the City of Pittsburgh for the development of MOVEPGH – City’s first comprehensive transportation plan
  • Technical support for transit/land-use planning for potential projects along the Route 51 corridor in the City of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County and in City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods in the Mount Washington area

Planning for Accessible Transportation Options

Prior to July 2013, SPC staff in cooperation with the Accessible Transportation and Workforce Interagency Cooperative (ATWIC) administered and provided management oversight for the urban area’s Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom (NF) grants programs and assisted PennDOT in the selection of the non-urban JARC and New Freedom projects. MAP-21 repealed both the federal JARC and New Freedom programs and the interagency collaborative that had defined ATWIC was reformed as ATWIC Web Site!the Alliance for Transportation Working in Communities to enhance the Commission’s transportation planning function to encompass accessibility issues for transportation disadvantaged populations in the region.  This new regional planning initiative aims to facilitate planning for projects that can provide viable transportation options for low-income jobseekers, individuals with disabilities, older adults and others for whom the lack of transportation options is a key issue.  During 2013, the new ATWIC provided technical assistance for the following projects and initiatives:

  • Administrative Assistance - region’s remaining JARC and NF projects – $5 million previously committed federal funds - - Port Authority of Allegheny County - ACCESS Connections and ACCESS Works - low-cost transportation for people with disabilities to attend sheltered workshops and participate in job skills training opportunities
  • Final Regional Assessment, JARC and New Freedoms Programs - $55,891,827 for innovative job access projects aimed at low-income individuals between 2001 and 2013 -$5,434,434  for transportation enhancement projects designed to alleviate access barriers for persons with disabilities between 2006 and 2013
  • Southwestern Pennsylvania Public Transit Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan - update process – final report 2014 to be included in the region’s long range transportation plan

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