Port Authority of Allegheny County Board adopts NEXTransit plan

Sept. 27, 2021
NEXTransit is the port authority’s first 25-year long-range plan and will provide an investment roadmap through 2045.

The board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County approved its first 25-year long-range transportation plan, NEXTransit, designed to attract riders, enhance mobility and support community development while promoting equity, sustainability and accessibility.

The NEXTransit plan will help inform, guide and prioritize the agency’s operational and capital projects, policies and programs through 2045. The NEXTransit plan includes 18 projects that total $3.7 billion, which were honed during the past 15 months with input collected from 40 public meetings.

The plan will address five priorities based on community input; those include:

  • Sidewalk quality and access;
  • Affordable fares;
  • ADA system access;
  • Bus network redesign that weighs the value of coverage versus frequency; and
  • Systemwide signage/wayfinding.

The NEXTransit plan includes 10 priority projects grouped by projects recommended for immediate planning and/or study, zero to five-year projects and five-to-15-year projects. The 10 priority projects are as follows:

NEXT projects

  • East/Central Pittsburgh River to River Connection
  • Downtown Transit Center
  • Library Line Best Use Study
  • Homestead to McKeesport Upgraded Transit

0-5 Year Projects

  • East Busway Phased Extensions
  • Allentown/Downtown/Strip District LRT Best Use Study
  • East Busway to Monroeville Rapid Transit
  • McKight Road Upgraded Transit

5-15 Year Projects

  • Allegheny Valley Rapid Transit
  • Airport Corridor Rapid Transit

“Port Authority’s transit system belongs to this community—our employees just operate it. Thanks to your invaluable input over the past year and a half, our NEXTransit network can help drive these dreams closer to reality,” wrote Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO Katharine Kelleman in a letter appearing at the beginning of the final NEXTransit report.

Implementation of the plan will depend on several factors and the port authority recommended regular updates to the plan to ensure it stays close to its original purpose to provide transit solutions to the community with input from the community.

The NEXTransit report ends with the following:

“Connecting people to life is something Port Authority does every day, and NEXTransit provides the vision needed to connect more people in ways they deserve to be connected, so that this future can be achieved and the Southwest Pennsylvania region can flourish.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.