FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh, PA (July 20, 2017) — Today, leaders from Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Port Authority, and community groups highlighted one of the Pittsburgh area’s greatest redevelopment potentials – its transit system – and announced that Rail~Volution, the nation’s pre-eminent conference on transit and livability, will put the spotlight on Pittsburgh in 2018. Repositioning Pittsburgh’s transit system is not just vital to maintaining the region’s highly desired quality of life; it is essential to attracting tomorrow’s innovation economy while lifting up communities not benefiting from the region’s rebirth.
“For years, we’ve been hearing from our residents about the role that transit plays in their lives and have made decisions regarding the future of the system based on that input. It’s why we continue to invest in our transit system, and why we continue to work on the development of bus rapid transit to serve the two largest job centers in our region,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We are excited to welcome Rail~Volution to Allegheny County and Pittsburgh, to showcase how far we’ve come and how transit and our community and economic development intersect, but to also learn about best practices and other strategies from which we can learn and grow.”
“We are excited to welcome Rail~Volution to Allegheny County and Pittsburgh, to showcase how far we’ve come and how transit and our community and economic development intersect, but to also learn about best practices and other strategies from which we can learn and grow.”
David Donahoe, Port Authority interim CEO, agreed. “Our bus and light rail lines have the potential to drive development throughout the region, and we’re very excited about those future opportunities.” Port Authority operates two light rail lines and 18-miles of dedicated busway. In partnership with Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, Port Authority is planning an on-street bus rapid transit project between Downtown, Oakland, and Pittsburgh’s East End. Port Authority adopted Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) guidelines to support the growing TOD interest countywide and facilitate high-quality future TOD.
Pittsburgh’s Director of Mobility and Infrastructure, Karina Ricks, noted the opportunities beyond rapid transit. “Pittsburgh is one of the most attractive places in the country at the moment because of our quality of life, sense of community, tremendous environmental assets, outstanding regional institutions and growing 21st Century employment. Central to maintaining, retaining, and growing it all is having a world class mobility system structured around top notch transit services.”
Noted Dan Bartholomay, Rail~Volution CEO, “Increasingly, communities of every size are building a future with transit as the backbone of a multi-modal transportation system. They are creating places where people want to live and work. It takes authentic community engagement and innovative partnerships to build livable communities—economically strong and healthier, with affordable housing and transportation options. With Rail~Volution coming in 2018, Pittsburgh has a chance to showcase how it is building on its transit assets to embrace a vibrant, connected future.”
“In our Regional Transportation Alliance initiative, we heard loud and clear that more and better transit is a priority for southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Ken Zapinski, Sr. Vice President, Energy and Infrastructure. “Rail~Volution gives us an opportunity to build stronger connections to what we already have while thinking about what can come next.”
“For us, it’s really about how we can turn something that’s highly utilized, but often overlooked, into a reinvestment opportunity that connects more people to the opportunities Pittsburgh’s rebirth is creating,” said Chris Sandvig of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group. “Linking inclusive development to transit, walking and biking is a recipe for truly affordable housing and equitable access to opportunities. We should rediscover our transit system much like we did our rivers two decades ago. And, we should strategically build upon that system – and expand it.”
We should rediscover our transit system much like we did our rivers two decades ago. And, we should strategically build upon that system – and expand it.
Rail~Volution is a national conference and network of leaders at the forefront of building vibrant, connected cities and regions through transit and related investments. Interweaving national and local content, the Rail~Volution conference showcases real-world examples and innovative solutions to the challenges cities and regions face around mobility, affordable housing, and economic development. It brings together practitioners from diverse sectors, including government, transportation, real estate, business, finance, environment, health, activism and advocacy, and equips them with the tools necessary to create more livable communities anchored by transportation choices. Rail~Volution Pittsburgh in 2018 will be the 24th annual conference.
Rail~Volution will come to Pittsburgh on October 21-24, 2018. The local host committee consists of Allegheny County, Port Authority of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.
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