Transportation Committee receives update from BJCTA

On Monday, the Transportation Committee received a report from BJCTA Director Charlotte Shaw, who outlined progress that has been made over the last year and next steps for transit in Birmingham.

The 2023 strategic plan for the BJCTA focuses on several key areas of service: employee engagement, community value, financial growth and customer service.

“We want to ensure that this organization continues to be a growing contributor to the life quality of our community,” Director Shaw said. “The reason we say ‘life quality’ and not ‘quality of life’ is that we can’t control the latter for individuals. But what we control and implement is having better services in place, we can make sure our routes are reliable and predictable. And we need to continue to measure those outcomes and improve upon that for the people we serve.”

Councilor Darrell O’Quinn, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said that historically, city leaders have not had enough input in how Birmingham’s public transportation system is designed and utilized. Moving forward, he said the City Council wants to have a larger role in defining what services they’d like to see BJCTA providing to residents.

“It’s always been a matter of, ‘We want public transportation. Tell us how much it costs.’ Boom. Done. We haven’t put in the time and the work to say what exactly we want public transportation to look like and how it can best serve our residents. The best way we can start to improve our public transportation is by looking at the current system and see how that’s being utilized,” Councilor O’Quinn said.

“The thing that we’re really interested in, is making sure that the product is working for the people who need it — the product being molbility. In order to understand that product we have to have a better understanding of how people are using these routes by looking at the data. Where are people getting on this route? What day of the week is it being utilized the most?”

Director Shaw responded saying, “We have to be where the people are. Data will show you what happened, but we need to be out in front of that and making improvements on what we’re seeing. We’ve been looking at things in a vacuum. We have to change how we’re looking at transit. We have the information and expertise to make these improvements, so you tell us what you’d like to see and we can help us get there.”

Director Shaw explained that the BJCTA, under her leadership, has developed a five-year capital plan and operating budget. They will be making regular presentations to the Transportation Committee about their progress over the duration of the plan.

Here are some of the high-level details of the BJCTA’s Strategic Plan:

  1. Executing Capital Plan

• Purchase Land for Maintenance Facility ($13.6)

• Renovate current Maintenance

• Capital Projects List

2. Expand to other transit modes including the goal to offer more transportation options and choices centered around the bus operations of BJCTA.

• BRT launched

• Via OnDemand services and Micro Transit across new municipalities to connect BJCTA’s fixed routes and the BRT. (5 new connections start March 6th)

• BJCTA expanded City’s Via Zone 1 to nighttime services from 7 PM — 11 PM

• Max Mobility

§ Purchased 2 vans

§ Negotiating Software with Via (estimated April/May services)

3. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) — Started planning and preliminary designs for surrounding the BRT Transit Centers and other fixed routes located in economic opportunity zones. Working to build mix use housing and superstations in other economically growing areas in the various municipalities.

• Partnerships with various civic and non-profit organizations

• RAISE Grant

• Choice Neighborhood Grant

4. Public Relations & Marketing Initiatives

• Rebranding MAX

• Marketing Campaign (Print, Radio, Social Media, Television, and Public Relations)

5. BJCTA Maintenance Center — Finalize location and preliminary design of the BJCTA Maintenance Center to prepare for expansion and growth.

6. Expand Financial Growth

• Continue to identify grant opportunities for awards.

• Master Grant Plan to encourage financial growth aligned to the companies Strategic Plan.

• Planning Grants for Route Restoration

7. Transit Consortium — Part of this strategy is to develop goals and objectives of local funding sources to aide to grow the local operating budget to match federal grants, TOD and expansion of transit modes to BJCTA’s municipalities and other municipalities not part of the Enabling Legislation.

8. Develop & Implement the Non For Profit 501.3c, MAX Foundation

• Socially and conscious company.

• Homeless solutions around our Transit Stations, platforms/bus stops, and workforce development.

• Financial hardship assistance for employees.

• Workforce Development

• Continuing Education & Financial literacy

Home ownership.



Tweets from The Birmingham City Council in Birmingham, Alabama

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