LEARNING THE NEW SYSTEM––People getting on in the front of the bus and off in the back. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A public hearing has been scheduled for April 5 on a $240 million plan to build a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit lane connecting downtown Pittsburgh to Oakland, the neighborhood that is home to most of the city’s major universities.

Mayor Bill Peduto says 60 percent of people who use Port Authority transit already travel that corridor, which links the city’s two biggest employment centers.

The dedicated lane, which should be completed by the year 2021, would make the trip about 10 minutes. With starts and stops, it can now take three times that long or more.

Planners also believe the dedicated lane would cut down on congestion in Oakland, because more people would use buses and leave their cars at home.

The plan calls for half to be federal funds, and the rest from local and state sources.

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