Tag Archives: BJCTA

UPDATE: On the agenda: Amnesty and advertising

Official flag of the City of BirminghamThis morning’s Birmingham City Council meeting is already underway as I’m writing this and there are several items on the agenda of interest.

Item 27 is the first reading of a change to the city code that would alter the look of our city streets. The change would allow our transit authority, the BJCTA, “to advertise on bus stops, benches, and/or shelters” providing a new revenue stream to the agency. The item was withdrawn by Councilor Rafferty because of an addition that needed to be made to the item.

Item 30 would let Mayor Bell enter into a redevelopment agreement with the Alabama School of Fine Arts providing no more than $30,300.00 for “public streetscape and infrastructure improvements and rebate of construction fees in support of ASFA’s expansion project.”

Items 29 & 68 will make those who owe overdue taxes and parking fines respectively at least a little happier. It would allow for an amnesty period (the month of November for taxes; October and November for parking, traffic and other non-moving violations) for people to pay the amounts due without having to worry about the penalties.

Council meetings are streamed live weekly and archived on the city’s website.

On the agenda: Vulcan, jazz and transit

New Birmingham, Alabama logoThis morning’s Birmingham City Council agenda is the longest in some time, consisting of some 44 pages.

Item 21 asks the Council to approve an amendment to their contract with the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (better known to most of us as MAX). It would allow the council to provide up to an additional $3 million to the cash-strapped agency, increasing their allocation to more than $8 million. The routes and hours are to be established by the City Council Transportation Committee.

Item 28 gives us a first glance at the Jazz in the Park Concerts sponsored by Magic City Smooth Jazz. The free concerts would be held every Sunday from July 4-25, 2010 at several locations throughout the city. The item includes the city agreeing to provide up to $10,000 towards the cost of the series.

Item 33 allows The Big Guy atop Red Mountain to have some necessary repair work done to his pedestal. Vulcan Painters of Bessemer submitted the low (and only) bid of $27,672 and acceptance of the item allows repair work to the pedestal to proceed.

The meetings are streamed live via the city’s website and archived.

The reason for the paratransit stall

Remember yesterday’s On the agenda post? Well, according to sources, some City Council members said they needed extra time to determine whether the $1.7 million paratransit expenditure would be deducted from the BJCTA’s FY2009 operating budget or would be in addition to that amount, leading to a two-week delay on the item.

Well, I’m in New York City and I’ve got an interesting (or frustrating) take on it – check it out over on My Birmingham.

On the agenda: Paratransit gets attention

This week’s Birmingham City Council agenda is light – 15 pages – but it contains a major first reading today.

Items 6 & 7 (on page 3) provide the framework for our local transit authority to continue to provide paratransit service to patients in the region. The $1.77 million being pulled from the money already allocated to the transit authority earlier in the city’s budget will provide new buses for the BJCTA’s aging paratransit fleet. There is additional service provided by ClasTran, but they’ve been feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

This morning’s Birmingham News makes it sound like there’s going to be a delay on the vote due to the fact that it’s a reorganization of where funds are going instead of additional funding for the agency.

Find your way on MAX online

Screenshot of BJCTA’s new website

Before we return to silent mode, we figured it would make sense to stress to folks to check out the tranist authority’s new website. New features include a ticker-style rider alert, planned integration of Google Transit, and most importantly, an easier to read and understand map for the system’s users.

Check it out and let us know what you think below.

Riding on hydrogen

One day if you ever feel so inclined to ride the bus, the one you’re on may be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Whether or not that’s a viable option or not will depend on how a demonstration bus called the EcoBus, being used by the BJCTA next year as part of a study at UAB, does in field tests around metro Birmingham. The announcement was made last week by the university, the bus will be built in Georgia and The Birmingham News has more details.

Don’t stop the bus

A $4 million shortfall in the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (a.k.a. the folks responsible for our MAX bus system) has the potential to do just by causing them to cut Saturday service and downtown DART service among other things. Check out the Birmingham News’ story so you have an idea of what’s going on before you head out to this afternoon’s city council transit committee meeting  (at 4 p.m.) called by Councilwoman Carol Duncan to figure out next steps.