Evaluation of Port Authority of Allegheny County’s West Busway Bus Rapid Transit Project

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The Evaluation of Port Authority of Allegheny County's West Busway Bus Rapid Transit Project (PDF) evaluates one of FTA’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) demonstration projects, Pittsburgh, PA’s, West Busway. The Port Authority of Allegheny County had a network of busways and light rail lines in place in the northern, southern, and eastern areas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.The West Busway consists of five miles of exclusive bus right-of-way and an exclusive interchange for buses with the Parkway West (I-279) in the Borough of Carnegie. Via direct bus service that ends beyond the busway, the West Busway connects the Pittsburgh International Airport and businesses surrounding the Airport and along Parkway West with downtown Pittsburgh and other employment and activity centers in the area. The West Busway is intended to improve mobility and transit access.

The following BRT components are demonstrated in this system: exclusive busway, enhanced stations, simplified route structure, limited stops, signal priority, high operating speed, multi-modal interfaces. The goal of the Port Authority for the West Busway is to improve mobility within the increasingly congested Parkway West corridor.

Approximately 45 buses per peak period use the busway in the peak direction.  Speeds on the busway portion of West Busway routes are approximately 30 mph, which compares with 19 mph on routes prior to the re-direction section to the busway.

The following points identify summary results of this evaluation.

  • Buses using the busway are more reliable (68%) in adherence to schedule than busesoperating on city and county roads;
  • Operation on the West Busway has reduced passenger wait time by 78%;
  • Accidents occur less frequently on the busway;
  • Drivers reported vehicle breakdown area easier to deal with on the West Busway, and
  • A comparison of the average speed of routes before and after the West Busway indicates an average increase of 2.4 mph (13%) after routes were diverted onto the busway, counting the entire route not just the portion of the busway.

For additional information, please contact Karen.Facen@dot.gov.

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