Office of Mayor William Peduto
Federal Transit Administration Awards $1.2 Million Federal Planning Grant to Uptown EcoInnovation District in Bus Rapid Transit Corridor
Grant to support transit-oriented development of corridor between Downtown & Oakland

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 14, 2015) The Urban Redevelopment Authority, on behalf of its regional partners, has been awarded a $1.2 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration for transit-oriented development planning in the Uptown EcoInnovation District.

The EcoInnovation District coordinates several related planning projects in a corridor that includes Downtown, Uptown, Oakland and adjacent East End neighborhoods. The federal grant will support the transit-oriented development planning along the corridor. Overall, the EcoInnovation District incorporates environmentally and economically innovative and equitable land use, mobility, energy, and infrastructure planning that embodies sustainability in all aspects of development, with an emphasis on both people and place.

The planning will also seek ways to best increase the effectiveness of the BRT in supporting other community planning for the corridor, and in turn recommend the best land uses for supporting maximum BRT ridership and revenue collection.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2014 by Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, and the URA on their joint support of the BRT and land use planning along the corridor. The URA applied for the Federal Transit Administration planning grant on behalf of the partners last year.

The plans also have the support of several other government partners.

“Improving transit in Pittsburgh is a key step in the city’s economic development,” said Senator Bob Casey. “This grant will lay the groundwork for major upgrades to the city’s transportation infrastructure and ensure Pittsburgh continues to be an attractive location for businesses.”

“Facilitating movement along this corridor is essential for the success of the Uptown EcoInnovation District Plan, and this grant will help with the planning for new transit and development in the District,” Congressman Mike Doyle said. “I see today’s announcement as additional recognition by the federal government of the outstanding work Pittsburgh is doing to promote energy-efficient, sustainable, and equitable economic development.”

The grant will support the City of Pittsburgh’s effort to strengthen and grow mixed-use development and multimodal connectivity in the Uptown neighborhood, through which Port Authority runs frequent transit service. The ideas generated by this planning effort will spur economic development, population growth and other positive changes that will support increased transit ridership.

“This project is a joint priority of the county and city because of its importance to the community and impact on our economic engines in this region,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “To have the support of the federal government with this grant award, as well as that of our regional partners to continue moving the BRT forward, reinforces the work that we are doing and we are grateful for the resources being brought to bear.”

Planning for the Uptown EcoInnovation District is occurring in close cooperation with that for the BRT.

It has involved a robust community planning process, with input from neighborhood, business, civic and nonprofit partners. The EcoInnovation District process will continue for the next 18-24 months.

“The federal government would not have put its limited resources behind the Uptown plans if not for our proven track record of regional cooperation and innovation. This grant adds great momentum to our efforts to create a world-class model of sustainability in Pittsburgh, boosted by ambitious new transit options,” Mayor William Peduto said.

More information on the BRT study is available here, and more information on the Uptown EcoInnovation District is here.

Contacts:

Amie Downs
Communications Director
Allegheny County
412-350-3711
 
Timothy McNulty
Communications Manager
City of Pittsburgh
412-660-1999
 
Jim Ritchie
Communications Officer
Port Authority of Allegheny County
412-566-5136
 
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