Three letters that stand for three words. An acronym can be powerful. Many people use them. Acronyms are used in our everyday life. In transportation, there is an acronym that is going to further change our transit system here in Birmingham, AL and the metropolitan area. BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit and it is sure to transform the current transportation infrastructure as our Executive Director, Barbara Murdock often states. The BRT is designed to improve reliability and capacity. Have you ever tried to ride the bus and you got stuck in traffic? Have you ever said that I have to be at work at a certain time and taking the bus will only make me late? Well, the BRT provides for dedicated lanes that allow for faster operation and more frequent stops.
The BRT initial 10-mile corridor is going to run from Community Transit Centers from east to west. There are five basic features that the citizens of Birmingham need to look for. These features provide for a faster trip. There will be a dedicated right-of-way. The bus-only corridor keeps buses away from busy curbsides where cars are parking, standing, and turning. Fare payment will happen at the Community Transit Centers versus on the bus. The rules of traffic are going to change. Turns will be prohibited across the bus lane which reduces delays yet again. The station will be at level with the bus making it easier to board.
Everything about the BRT is meant to decrease delays. BJCTA is excited to be working with Strada Professional Services LLC on this initiative. BJCTA is also working with the City of Birmingham and the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration. The total project budget is $40 million dollars. The goal is to have this completed prior to the World Games in 2021.
We have been approved for matching funds and we are now clear to proceed with this project. It is an exciting time for both transit and the City of Birmingham.