Bus Rapid Transit System Expected to Revolutionize Birmingham Transportation

Construction on Birmingham’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transfer facility in Five Points West near the Birmingham Crossplex, will begin in Fall 2018 with the entire project being completed by 2021. The city of Birmingham is working to innovate transportation through the new public transit initiative.

The City of Birmingham hired STRADA Professional Services to help with the formation and organization of the BRT. The consulting company held planning meetings to explore ideas for the new transportation system at the Birmingham Business Alliance last week. In addition, STRADA will hold workshops for the opportunity to gain feedback from residents and leaders within the Five Points West community about plans for the first BRT transfer facility within the next few months.

Once completed, the BRT will be composed of a 10-mile corridor connected by two new transfer stations in Woodlawn and Five Points West. The transit system will also include a dedicated bus lane, similar to a railway route, to avoid hectic traffic commutes and new-generation transit pass card readers to detect and validate riders’ passes quickly for faster boarding.

“We don’t want to leave out key aspects that people in the area want to see in transportation today,” said Darryl Howard, Project Planner at STRADA Consulting. “It’s our goal to make Birmingham a better place to work and experience a high quality of life. This can only be done by listening to the voices of those we serve.”

The BRT service is funded by the City of Birmingham and an awarded Federal United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Grant that is provided to cities for federal projects that have a transformative impact on the community. STRADA has worked closely with the University of Birmingham at Alabama (UAB), REV Birmingham, the Regional Planning Commission, Woodlawn Foundation and the Birmingham Business Alliance on the transit project.

“Bus Rapid Transit is more than modifying a transit route,” said Nan Baldwin, vice president of regional development at the Birmingham Business Alliance. “It is an economic development project that will stimulate business growth at each node, provide opportunities for employment and be a catalyst for redeveloping underutilized and blighted properties along the corridor.”

The BRT is one initiative of the broader Birmingham Transit Program, which comprises various projects expected to enhance public transportation over the next decade, creating a high-capacity transit system like the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit (MARTA) or Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).

“Our objective is to boost business growth, economic and workforce development through easier access to shops, restaurants and employment locations throughout the city,” said Howard. “Accessibility to affordable, quality housing in Birmingham is a central objective of the BRT as well.”

For more information regarding the Bus Rapid Transit system or other initiatives of the Birmingham Transit Program, click here.

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