In-Town Transit Partnership
The In-Town Transit Partnership (ITP) is a transit planning group headed by Al Folcher and Metropolitan Planning Organization traffic planner Darrell Howard. The group has developed plans for improved public transit service in the Birmingham area, with a focus on making connections to Downtown Birmingham and UAB. Though the group focuses on downtown connections, it hopes to contribute to overall regional transit services.
The partnership is comprised of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, Jefferson County, Shelby County, the cities of Birmingham, Homewood, Hoover, Irondale, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills, as well as officials from the Federal Transit Administration.
In 2009 the group prepared a proposal to be sent by the Regional Planning Commission to the Federal Transit Authority for a $65 million federal grant to purchase 32 buses, construct a maintenance garage and install bus stops with token dispensers. The buses would likely be operated by an independent authority.
According to the proposal, 12 large electric buses with a capacity of 60-120 passengers would run on two main downtown routes at 10-minute intervals. Both routes would make use of 18th Street to connect the BJCC, the municipal complex, and Birmingham Central Station to Southside. One would continue toward Five Points South while the other would turn west at 5th Avenue South to the west end of the UAB Campus. 20 smaller buses would feed into the downtown system from the Arlington-West End, North Titusville, South Titusville, Smithfield, Graymont, College Hills, East Thomas, Enon Ridge, Fountain Heights, Evergreen, Druid Hills, Norwood, North Avondale, Southside, Forest Park, Highland Park, Redmont Park, Five Points South and Glen Iris neighborhoods.
The large downtown buses were proposed to run on electrical power and to provide wi-fi internet access and flat-screen televisions for riders.
The planning carried out by the In-Town Transit Partnership influenced the route selected for the Birmingham Xpress bus rapid transit system which was constructed in 2021–2022. The downtown segment of the Xpress corridor was named the In-Town Transit Partnership (ITP) segment.
- MacDonald, Ginny (June 29, 2009) "Birmingham, Alabama planners seek grant for electric buses, vehicles to link neighborhoods to downtown." The Birmingham News
- video presentation on YouTube.com