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Development & Transportation

Trump Budget Puts Future Of Bus Rapid Transit In Jeopardy

Margaret Sun
90.5 WESA
Passengers board a bus in downtown Pittsburgh.

A route was selected, preliminary studies were planned and local officials intended to submit grant applications to fund the Bus Rapid Transit corridor in the fall.

Those plans may now be on hold.

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget provides no funding for new projects under the federal Capital Investment Grant which was expected to provide about $80 to $100 million for the roughly $233 million project, said Robert Rubinstein, executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

“We don’t know yet what programs will be restored and at what amounts,” he said. “But it’s clearly not premature to start thinking about whether or not there are plan b’s and plan c’s if the budget passes as presented by the president.”

The selected route for BRT would connect 24 neighborhoods and serve more than 31,000 people. It is anticipated to improve the efficiency of bus service, and make it easier for residents to get to job centers.

Without federal funding, it’s unlikely BRT will move forward, said Rubinstein.

“I think we could continue with some of the preliminary studies that, there are many still in progress,” he said. “But in terms of actual construction, the lion’s share of funding would be through the CIG Small Starts program.”

Planning for the BRT project has been in progress for a decade.

What's at stake and candidate profiles for statewide races and competitive primaries in Allegheny County.