If you live in the greater Birmingham area, you’ve probably encountered heavy traffic on U.S. Highway 280 at some point. Some leaders hope to alleviate that in the future with a rapid transit system.
Hoover mayor Frank Brocato is a big proponent of the idea.
“We’ve got to start thinking about transit, mass transit in this area to relieve some of this traffic,” he said.
If local leaders decide to move forward with the idea, it would create a new lane to replace the median on U.S. 280. This lane would be used for a rapid transit system stretching from Shelby County to downtown Birmingham. Passengers would have access to a variety of amenities and would avoid sitting in the traffic that frequently accumulates on the highway.
“If you took a fast transit lane, a bus lane with a really modern bus with all the internet connections and a coffee bar in it and things of that nature, that would zip right down 280 and hit maybe a half dozen stops until it got downtown, I really think that would be accepted a great deal,” Brocato said.
And he believes it would quickly become an attractive option for people who drive on the highway.
“It wouldn’t take me long to be sitting in that traffic, and I’ve been sitting there for 30 minutes, and I see a really nice modern bus go by in the fast lane and people there sipping on their coffee and working with their iPads – I think that would take a lot of pressure off of 280.”
Brocato says local leaders already are having conversations about the possibilities. The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham provided CBS 42 with a video that shows how the system would work.