Pittsburgh Regional Transit will begin planning upgrades to make four South Hills light rail stations compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act as a result of $28.4 million federal grant.
The competitive grant from the Federal Transit Administration is a result of language written by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., that was included in the federal stimulus bill. The All Stations Accessibility Program has $1.75 billion available to help transit systems across the country bring older facilities into compliance.
The stations — Westfield and Shiras in Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood, St. Anne in Castle Shannon and Bethel Village in Bethel Park — were built before the act was passed in 1992.
“When public transportation isn’t accessible, seniors and people with disabilities can’t get to work, the grocery store or their doctor’s appointments,” Casey said in a Monday news release. “More than 30 years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the infrastructure law is helping to fulfill its promise to build a more accessible world for Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
PRT spokesman Adam Brandolph said the federal grant would allow the agency to begin designing new stations along the Red Line. The total cost of the work is estimated at $35.5 million, including local matches of $6.9 million from PennDOT and $230,000 from Allegheny County.
The stations are among the busiest in the PRT system, and three are in neighborhoods where the nonwhite population is higher than the county average and a significant number of people with disabilities.
PRT is in the process of upgrading or developing plans to improve bus and light rail stations throughout its system, including Negley, Station Square, Dormont and South Hills Junction.