Pittsburgh, PA: Port Authority of Allegheny County

Port Authority of Allegheny County Logo

West Busway

Project Description

The West Busway opened in September, 2000, more than a year ahead of schedule. The five-mile busway, constructed in an abandoned rail right-of-way, connects rapidly growing markets in the corridor between the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh International Airport. The facility varies in width from two to four lanes, providing a sufficiently wide cross section to allow express buses to pass vehicles stopped at any of the busway's six stations. Fourteen bus routes use the busway. Additional routes can be added.

Illustration of passengers approaching West Busway station in the Borough of Ingram
Image: Port Authority of Allegheny County.

The exclusive Busway extends from Carnegie to east of the Sheraden Station. At that point, buses merge with traffic on West Carson Street via an exclusive bus ramp, and proceed to Downtown Pittsburgh via West Carson Street. Synchronized traffic signals are provided along West Carson Street.

The new Busway provides travel time savings of up to 26 minutes for morning peak direction trips, and somewhat less time savings in the afternoon peak.

The project also includes the planned Wabash HOV Facility. This 1.1-mile, reversible single lane facility includes a tunnel through Mt. Washington opposite and across the Monongahela River from Downtown Pittsburgh, and a ramp connecting the tunnel with West Carson Street. HOVs will use the existing Smithfield Street Bridge to access Downtown.

Because buses are able to pass other buses stopped at stations, two types of bus operations are permitted. The 100 West Busway-All Stops route, similar to light rail operation travels the length of the busway, stopping at all stations, and leaves the busway in the Downtown area to provide central business district circulation. This route continues through Downtown and travels on the Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway to serve Oakland, the educational, medical and museum center of the City of Pittsburgh.

The second type of service, express commuter routes, enter the busway at one of a number of ramps located along the length of the facility and proceed non-stop to Downtown Pittsburgh. Beaver County Transit Authority buses also use the facility, as do express airport bus service partially funded by the Airport Corridor Transportation Association.

The busway creates opportunities for transit-oriented private land development at stations or other transportation hubs in the service area.

The West Busway brings to 16.1 the number of miles of exclusive busways operated by Port Authority. The 4.3-mile South Busway opened on December 18, 1977, and the 6.8-mile Martin Luther King, Jr. East Busway opened on February 21, 1983. The East Busway now carries approximately 30,000 riders on an average weekday, making it Port Authority's most heavily used fixed-guideway facility. The West Busway carries approximately 9,000 customers per day, with ridership expected to grow upon completion of all proposed park and ride lots. More than 13,000 weekday riders are carried on the South Busway.

More Information

Contact Information

Richard Feder, rfeder@portauthority.org
Director of Transit Planning
Port Authority of Allegheny County
345 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527
Phone: 412-566-5109
Fax: 412-566-5356

Revised October 30, 2002