Project Information Public Involvement FAQ Photo Gallery

WHAT IS THE BRT PROJECT?

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will update Birmingham’s inner city public-transit system by connecting 25 neighborhoods from Woodlawn on the east side to Five Points on the west side, approximately 10 miles in length.

The City of Birmingham, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), has commenced a Birmingham Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT Project) as a part of the overall Birmingham Transit Program. The Birmingham Bus Rapid Transit will be a modern, enhanced transit line through Birmingham’s Jones Valley along the U.S. 11 corridor. It will connect the Woodlawn Community through downtown Birmingham with the West End Community. Along the way, it will serve major employers such as Integrated Medical Systems, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Brookwood Princeton Medical Center. It will connect 25 neighborhoods to services, and provide residents with greater access to opportunities. The new transit line will replace the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority’s (BJCTA) MAX bus services that currently operate in these corridors, greatly improving reliability, mobility, capacity and operations on BJCTA’s highest ridership corridors. The buses will operate in both dedicated lanes and in mixed traffic. New buses will provide level boarding for all passengers, operate on 15-minute frequencies much of the day (30 minutes in off-peak periods and on weekends), and include wheelchair self-parking areas. BRT stops will include bicycle parking; some stops will host Birmingham’s Zyp™ Bikeshare stations. The travel time between Woodlawn and the Birmingham CrossPlex is estimated to be an hour, a reduction of 20 minutes from the current system.
The purpose and need for the Birmingham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is to connect communities to opportunities and enable Birmingham’s residents, especially low-income citizens, to reach employment, educational opportunities, healthcare, and community services. It will also allow visitors access to Birmingham’s rich historic and cultural locations. The Birmingham BRT will provide many benefits, including improving access and mobility for residents and visitors by providing convenient, reliable, and safe public transit options.
The City of Birmingham, in cooperation with the BJCTA, proposes to update its inner city transit system by developing bus rapid transit (BRT) that will connect 25 neighborhoods from Five Points on the west side of Birmingham to Woodlawn on the east side. Implementation of BRT will require the construction of 36 stations along the BRT corridor. The proposed stations will be compact, open air structures incorporating architectural elements from Birmingham’s diverse built environment. The BRT route is divided into three segments: featuring stations E-1 through E-5, the eastern segment begins at the proposed Woodlawn Community Transit Center in the historic community of Woodlawn and extends southwestward to 18th Street North in downtown Birmingham via 1st Avenue North; featuring stations In-Town Transit Partnership (ITP)-1 though ITP-6, an intermediary segment begins at the intersection of 18th Street and 1st Avenue North, heads south on 18th Street North then southwest on 5th Avenue South to the intersection of 8th Street South where the transit line drops one block south and then trends southwest along 6th Avenue South to its terminus at the Amtrak and CSX railroad corridor; featuring stations W-1 through W-8, the western segment begins at the Amtrak and CSX railroad corridor, continues southward to the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive along the eastern boundary of Elmwood Cemetery where the segment heads north to a Y-intersection with Lomb Avenue, which heads due west to the end of the line at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Five Points.
  • Vehicles: BJCTA plans to purchase 10 new, low-floor compressed natural gas (CNG) buses for the corridor. It is anticipated that BRT vehicles would include self-securing wheelchair parking areas, bicycle racks, as well as seating and standing room for 40 to 60 passengers per bus.
  • Stations: The Birmingham BRT stations will provide a high-level of passenger comfort, convenience and safety. The stations will be designed to reflect the character of the City of Birmingham’s unique communities.  It is expected that stations will include community inspired functional public art. In addition, a raised passenger boarding platform allows for easier and faster access for all by providing level boarding between the platform and the bus.
  • Equipment:
    • Transit Signal Priority (TSP). Transit Signal Priority (TSP) will allow BRT buses to be able to communicate with the traffic signal system along the project corridor. TSP can reduce bus delays at traffic signals by either giving the bus a green light, or holding it green for a few seconds longer if a bus is approaching.
    • Off-board Fare Collection. Customers may pre-purchase fares at Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) at each station before boarding which will significantly speed up boarding. This lets passengers quickly board using any door, greatly reducing the time spent at stations, and increasing the overall efficiency and reliability of the system.
    • Real-Time Passenger Information. Real-time passenger information displays will tell passengers waiting at stations how long before the next bus arrives. It will also have the capability to provide other information to riders.