About the Project

NEXTransit Downtown is a plan to update to the bus routings in Downtown Pittsburgh in order to complement upcoming projects and improve efficiency and amenities for riders.

PRTX - The University Line project will be affecting more than half of the bus routes that operate on downtown streets. As a result, this is a key opportunity to take a fresh look at how buses move through the heart of our system and region.

Update

The NEXTransit Downtown study was completed in the summer of 2023. Implementation of the plan's recommendations is underway! Read below for what to expect as we realize the elements of the plan. For a full summary of public engagement, how we addressed public feedback, and past project work check out the NEXTransit Downtown archived project page.

Proposed system map for Downtown Pittsburgh

Routing changes were implemented on Routes 65 and 77 on October 1, 2023. Due to the immediate need for a Downtown layover where drivers can take breaks, the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) was able to support PRT in providing space for operators to park buses near Gateway Station. Because of this quick turnaround, these changes were implemented with our October 2023 service changes.

The 65 uses the Crosstown Boulevard from Boulevard of the Allies to 7th Avenue, turns left on Liberty Avenue, and loops at Gateway Station. The other routes from the East Highway group have a different implementation date.

Map of changes to route 65

The 77 enters Downtown from Bigelow Boulevard, turns right on 6th Ave, left on Liberty Avenue, and also loops at Gateway Station. It uses 7th Ave to exit Downtown.

Map of changes to route 77

Several routes are scheduled for routing changes starting Sunday, February 18, 2024.

Routes 29, 31, G3, and G31 will now turn right at Stanwix Street to exit Downtown.

Map of changes to routes 29, 31, G3, and G31


Routes 26 and 27 will now enter Downtown on Boulevard of the Allies, turn left on Stanwix, and left onto Fort Pitt Blvd. This aligns these routes with others coming from the same parts of town. The other routes from the West group have a different implementation date.

Map of changes to routes 26 and 27


Routes 2 and 12 will now travel to Penn Station. Route 2 was originally planned to continue its current loop, but bus operators expressed the need for a better layover to support the on-time performance of Route 2 Mount Royal. The team concluded that this would not have a negative impact on riders, and would better support the needs of our operators. Starting February 18, the 2 and 12 routes will enter Downtown on the 7th St Bridge, turn left on Liberty Avenue, and end at Penn Station, following the same routing to exit Downtown. The other routes from the North Penn Station group have a different implementation date.


Routes 67 and 69 will now use Liberty Avenue and turn around at Gateway Station. This allows for a faster loop Downtown and supports rider connections to the North and West. These routes will use the ramp from Boulevard of the Allies to 7th Avenue, turn left on Liberty Avenue, and loop at Gateway Station.

Several new routings are dependent on the completion of bus lanes on Fifth and Sixth Avenues for PRTX - The University Line project before they can be implemented. These routes will be scheduled for implementation later in 2024 or in 2025 pending construction completion.

Additionally, some routing changes are dependent on infrastructure improvements such as boarding platforms and stop bar adjustments so buses can make new turning movements. These routes will be implemented pending these infrastructure improvements which are in design at PRT and will then need to move through appropriate design and review phases with the City of Pittsburgh before construction can occur.

Routes with a to-be-scheduled implementation date are:

7815565758818283
86
8788
91
19L
51L
52L53L61A
61B61C71BG2O5P1/2P10P12P16
P17P67P68P69P71P76P78Y1Y45

Riders of these routes can review the planned routing changes on the map at the top of this page.


The following routes have no proposed changes in the final NEXTransit Downtown Routing Plan and will continue to operate as they do today.

14
6111316172021
2224
363839
40414344
48 51 28XO1
O12P13Y46Y47Y49

Engagement Opportunities

Engagement for the planning phase of this project has concluded and summaries can be found on the archived page. Engagement opportunities listed below focus on the implementation of the plan's recommendations.

The project team talked to more than 400 people in the summer of 2022. Five main issues were identified:

  • Service Reliability: Buses are not on time or are often clustered together with inconsistent frequency.
  • Route Simplicity: The length and location of route looping can cause lengthy delays in trips while trying to exit Downtown.
  • Station and Stop Amenities: Many bus stops Downtown lack basic amenities such as shelters and seating.
  • Safety: There are safety concerns related to pedestrian and bicycle rider safety at many intersections within Downtown. In addition, many riders feel unsafe while waiting at certain bus stops due to a lack of lighting, basic amenities, and overcrowding.
  • Wayfinding: While frequent transit riders know where they are going, many occasional riders and visitors need better on-street wayfinding signage to help them understand the transit network, particularly the bus routes.

This project addresses the following values from PRT’s long-range transportation plan, NEXTransit, adopted in 2021.

  • Accessible: infrastructure is fully available in every way to those with specific needs, such as physical or mental disabilities, those traveling with infants or small children, and those traveling with groceries or other goods.
  • Affordable: this project makes it easier for those of all means, including the underemployed and unemployed populations, to utilize transit without needing to sacrifice other life sustaining activity, such as buying food, medicine or heating, to do so.
  • Equitable: the project not only ensures the fair provision of services to those with limited means or higher risk, but affirmatively acts to better the services offered to these groups in an effort to combat historical and environmental imbalances in the community.
  • Sustainable: the project enhances the health of communities and the natural environment through its design and operations with regard to energy use, water use, raw material use, land use, and waste production.

Timeline

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Summer and Early Fall 2022

    Research and Review Phase

    • Identify needs and opportunities.
    • Included a public comment period in late September through early October 2022.
  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Late Fall 2022 through Early Spring 2023

    Development Phase

    • Develop construction plan, circulation concepts, and potential hubs. Review and evaluation concepts.
    • Included a public comment period in late February through early March 2023.
  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Late Spring through Summer 2023

    Finalization Phase

    • Idnetify stop and infrastructure upgrades, routing alternatives, develop map, and implementation plan.
    • Included a public comment period in late June through early July 2023.
  • Timeline item 4 - active

    Fall 2023 through Early 2024

    First Phase of Implementation

    • Complete service changes that don't require infrastructure improvements.

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Ellie Newman

Project Manager

Stevie Mathews

Deputy Project Manager

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