Advisory Services Panel—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Date: May 10-17, 2014

Location: Pittsburgh/Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Sponsor: Port Authority of Allegheny County,PA Community Infrastructure & Tourism Fund, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, The Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Subject Area:  Infrastructure and transportation, economic development

Panel Chair:
David Leininger, SVP – Chief Financial Officer
DART; Dallas, Texas

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Background and Panel Assignment

With the successful passage of a robust transportation bill for Pennsylvania, transit across the state has a predictable funding stream. For the Port Authority this means fiscal stability for the first time in a decade and the wherewithal to partner across the county on economic and business development plans that promote comprehensive and sustainable growth.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County asked the ULI Advisory Panel to address key questions as a piece of its overall strategic effort to draft a sound framework for transit planning in the region. The key questions included:

  • What is the strategic blueprint for a modern transit system in Allegheny County that best serves the region’s growth patterns?
  • How best to integrate existing service with new strategic initiatives such as BRT from downtown to Oakland, extended busways, and HOV use?
  • What is the role of TOD in Allegheny County and where?
  • What creative financing methods could be used to leverage existing revenue?

Summary of Recommendations

The panel’s recommendations included the following:

  • Enhance customer/passenger experience.
  • Explore expanding Allegheny County’s 1 percent sales tax to surrounding counties to expand transit service there.
  • Target improvements to accomplish on-time performance.
  • Enhance focus on transit-oriented real estate developments.
  • Explore contracted service during peak times or nights.
  • Enhance traffic signal coordination.
  • Evaluate underutilized Port Authority-owned land and underutilized land owned by other government agencies around transit lines.


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