The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve using $18 million in American Rescue Plan funds to cover unexpected extra costs in construction of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit system.
The BRT project, which will create a 10-mile, higher-speed public transit corridor through 25 neighborhoods, broke ground in December. But last week, Charlotte Shaw, the city’s deputy director of capital projects, told councilors that the project had run into rising costs in the construction industry — a “perfect storm” resulting from COVID-19’s strain on the market. Even with significant cuts, she said, the city would need at least $14 million more to complete the BRT, which originally had been budgeted for $45.8 million. Read more.
The Birmingham City Council is set to allocate $18 million of the city’s American Rescue Plan funding toward the construction of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit system. The project, which will create a 10-mile, higher-speed public transit corridor through 25 neighborhoods, broke ground in December. But rising construction costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic had placed significant strain on the project. Read more.
A new, faster bus line is on its way to the city of Birmingham. The Birmingham Xpress will run roughly 10 miles from Five Points West, through downtown Birmingham, to Woodlawn, connecting 25 city neighborhoods. Read more.
Starting in December, residents of some Birmingham neighborhoods will have a new transit option. The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve a six-month transportation pilot program with ridesharing company Via, funded in part by the city and in part by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
The program will provide on-demand transportation using marked Mercedes Metris vans, which can be summoned online, through an 800 number or on a smartphone app. Each trip will have a flat fee of $1.50 per rider; the vans can accommodate six riders at one. The pilot program will cover a 6.7-mile area that includes parts of downtown Birmingham, along with western neighborhoods such as Smithfield, Graymont and College Hills. Read more.