Birmingham on Demand expansion update
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham will be expanding one of its newest, most popular transit platforms. Today the mayor’s office announced plans to expand the city’s Birmingham on Demand service to 19 neighborhoods east of the airport.
For the last three years, the city has been operating on a trial basis in downtown and some western neighborhoods. But at Monday’s city council transportation committee meeting, the city announced the expansion, with people using the city’s brand new Birmingham express buses to get across town.
Transportation Committee Chair Darrell O’Quinn says the 19 new neighborhoods were chosen after the city looked at demographic and transit authority data to determine where they could have the expansion could have the most impact. O’Quinn says it’s going to be hard to expand the service to the north and to southside, unless others chip in.
“Parking is not free,” says O’Quinn. “It costs the employer in terms of having to build facilities to accommodate parking. And then that cost often gets passed on to the employee. And so, the average employee at say, you know, UAB is paying hundreds of dollars a year to be able to park on campus.”
O’Quinn says the city used $2 million from the American Rescue Plan to budget for the expansion, but will have to find other sources of money to sustain it. He expects people on the east side of the city could start using Birmingham on Demand in December.
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