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Lanes exclusive to buses will drastically alter travel inside Birmingham

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham Xpress Bus Rapid Transit Project is nearing completion, and it will affect everyone traveling in and out of Birmingham. Today, crews are working to restripe roads near the UAB Medical District. One of the biggest changes this project will introduce is bus only lanes.

This means less parking will be available in many popular places around town but city leaders hope this makes Birmingham more accessible, and believe this will only further connect the community.

“This is to make sure that transportation through the east the west is more efficient and timely,” said Birmingham’s Director of Capitol Projects Denise Bell.

Bell says they plan to do just that, by lessening the clutter buses have to travel through.

“There will be lanes dedicated to just the bus so the bus can actually do what it’s intended to do. That’s to get through the traffic. Every fifteen minutes expect a stop. Every fifteen minutes, that’s the only way we can do that,” said Director Bell.

Police are beginning to tow vehicles who are parked in the lanes and more signage will be posted to alert drivers to the change. While it’s a big change, it’s one the city’s Director of Transportation James Fowler believes will better Birmingham.

“It connects in to UAB’s campus, to children’s hospital, the center of our business district downtown from both the east and west sides of town so good access to healthcare, education, retail and other services,” said Fowler.

He thinks the project will only make the city more accessible and environmentally friendly.

“Every transit trip begins and or ends as a walking trip so this is an opportunity to allow people good mobility and access, high quality access, without having to use their car. So there is a whole lot of reasons why that is more sustainable,” said Fowler.

The project has a total cost of $62 million with the Federal Transit Authority providing $20 million and the city the remainder. Work is slated to be completed in the next two months.

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