Pittsburgh named 1 of 4 cities to get Rockefeller Foundation grants for bus transit

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Pittsburgh is one of four cities that will receive grant money from the Rockefeller Foundation to advertise the merits of bus rapid transit, the foundation announced today.

Just more than $1 million will be split among Pittsburgh, Boston, Nashville and Chicago, funding an advertising campaign to build public awareness of the transit alternative, which proponents say combines the flexibility of a bus with the reliability of a rail system at a fraction of the cost.

"It takes us 15 or 20 years to get mass transit off the ground -- if ever," said Benjamin De La Peña, the foundation's associate director for urban development. "What's appealing about bus rapid transit is that you can get it out in two or three years."

Pittsburgh will use the money to build support for a bus rapid transit link between Oakland and Downtown, Mr. De La Peña said. The city's East Busway is one of the oldest examples of the transit concept, in which buses are given a dedicated road or lane and stop at marked stations.

Allegheny County officials will announce the grant at 2 p.m. at the county courthouse.

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Andrew McGill: amcgill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1497.


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