Why BRT ?
Over the next 20 years, the San Bernardino area population is expected to grow by more than 1 million, and alternative
transportation will become even more essential in order to keep everyone moving. To accommodate such growth, Omnitrans studied many options to enhance its level of service. BRT made the most sense-it
combines the cost-effectiveness of premium bus service
with a rider experience similar to that of a light-rail or subway service.
Connect with sbX
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OMNITRANS sbX Intergrated Project
201 N. E Street, #202
San Bernardino, CA 92401
sbX moves forward with SANBAG support
Proposed view of center-running Tippecanoe Avenue station.Plans to move forward with preparing E Street and Hospitality Lane for exclusive center-running lanes for bus rapid transit (BRT) were advanced when the Omnitrans Board of Directors, at its June 2 meeting, unanimously approved a proposal to have the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) assist the transit agency in its property acquisition process.
Changes to the corridor will be positive in improving transit options, upgrading streets and enhancing pedestrian traffic. SANBAG will partner with Omnitrans by taking a lead role in acquiring approximately 130 properties sought for the E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project. Four properties are full parcels to construct a park and ride facility, and 128 are sliver portions between one and 15 feet wide, to allow for street widening on the 5.4-mile stretch of transit corridor running in exclusive lanes.
Other properties along the 15.7- mile corridor, which runs from northern San Bernardino to Loma Linda, would be used as temporary construction easements, allowing engineers to do their work then return the property to the owner in the same or better condition than they found it before construction. At times the condition may be improved through new sidewalks and landscaping and bringing conditions up to current codes and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For safety reasons, left turn lanes will be eliminated in some areas of center-running lanes. Instead, motorists will pass their destination, make a u-turn at the next available location and turn right into the driveway. Similarly, those wanting to make a left turn out of the driveway will first make a right turn, and then make a u-turn at the next available location.
The City of San Bernardino is working with Omnitrans on this adjustment by adding u-turns where needed and eliminating those that could interfere with sbX making a left turn (such is the case at E Street and Hospitality Lane). Construction of the E Street sbX corridor is slated to begin in 2011.
New Transit Drives Economic Development
A BRT project in Cleavland, OH
Bus rapid transit, also known as BRT, has been successful in the economic turnaround of many urban areas in the U.S. and around the world over the past
Recently, Cleveland experienced a renaissance of its civic center, fueled in part by transit-oriented development along the four-mile, $200 million Euclid Corridor project. Similar in size to the sbX E Street Corridor project, the Euclid Corridor has already brought $4.3 billion in new investment to the city. Named
Cleveland's "Health Line," the project contributed to reductions in crime and enhancements to the downtown lifestyle, and also provides a vital connection between the civic center and the renowned Cleveland
The goal of BRT is to approach the service quality of rail transit while still enjoying the cost savings and flexibility of bus transit. Other BRT projects in the United States are either completed or under development in Denver, Portland, Eugene, Ore., Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
Moreover, the sbX project is expected to contribute to transit-oriented development (TOD), which revitalizes urban areas and makes people think about where they live in relation to where they work. Changes to the face of Downtown San Bernardino are made easier with new transit projects, which attract a variety of residential, retail, restaurant and entertainment development projects, creating livable communities that promote walking, in addition to the use of public transit.
Downtown San Bernardino is a strategic point along the corridor because of the multi-modal transit center Omnitrans plans on constructing at the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. Not only will sbX have a station adjacent to the transit center, it will be a stopping point for other Omnitrans vehicles whose routes terminate at various transit malls throughout the civic center. This will allow sbX passengers connectivity with Metrolink, with plans of a one mile extension east of its current eastern terminus at the historic Santa Fe Depot. A light-rail line from the transit center to Redlands also is being planned.
These transit projects tie in to the City of San Bernardino's Downtown Core Vision Action Plan, which calls for a transit village with loft apartments and condos, an open-air promenade style retail shopping center, restaurants and entertainment venues. Together, it is anticipated that a transit-oriented downtown will attract developers and make the neighborhood more pedestrian friendly and economically viable.
New Flyer Awarded Contract To Provide sbX Coaches
At its May 5, 2010 meeting, the Omnitrans Board of Directors awarded a contract to New Flyer of America, Inc., to provide 14 coaches for the E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project.
The U.S.-based section of the Canadian bus manufacturer will deliver the 60-foot-long articulated, low-floor, five door coaches by January 2013. Like all of the coaches in the existing Omnitrans fleet, all sbX coaches will run on clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG ).
The Xcelsior model coaches will be equipped with 32-inch-wide ramps at the entryways, for ease of boarding. They also have racks to accommodate the storage of up to four bicycles inside. The new coach will accommodate 41 seating and 65 standing passengers including two wheelchair seating positions. Other features include large, tinted skylight roof hatches for natural lighting; spacious interior headroom; soft interior LED lighting and headlights; and a streamlined style, with an integrated
roofline, flush windows, less-visible drip rails, and a distinctive front mask and bumper. The coaches will be made of sturdier, more-lightweight metal frames for enhanced safety and fuel efficiency. They'll have substantial noise reduction through a single-reduction axle, enhanced insulation and roof-mounted air conditioning.
"It will be a much more comfortable, more easily accessible ride," said Jason Lee, Omnitrans Design and Quality Assurance Manager for the sbX Integrated Project Management Office, "it should attract a lot more new riders."