Grinding up a dream
The idea that there would be a transit rail heading out of Downtown along the route of the East Busway was a core vision for local transit strategy going back as far as the Early Action Plan which the region coalesced around (for a time) as far back as the 1960's. Skybus miasma and other things would impede progress, but at the end of the day the foundation of the East Busway was engineered with the intent that rail of some sort could be built along the corridor. (you can read some of those plans yourself here). The news that the foundation is going to be literally ground up is pretty symbolic in that it ends any real hope of passenger rail ever going in along the route.
Yes, I know the Port Authority's vision is that the busway is somehow going to operate like a subway by bus or someting like that. Sounds nice, but we all know that just does not really work anywhere... let alone here. Once you take out folks who can't travel by car either because of income or for other reasons, folks who have a choice will take rail who won't ever consider taking a bus.
Such is what counts as progress in Allegheny County.