Calif. agency set for BRT line launch

Posted on April 24, 2014

San Bernardino, Calif.-based Omnitrans celebrated the completion of the sbX bus rapid transit (BRT) line at a pep rally ceremony adjacent to the line’s civic center station. The new 16-mile BRT line begins passenger service on Monday, offering free rides through May 2.

The sbX Green Line includes over five miles of dedicated lanes, 16 station locations, and four park-and-ride lots. It serves major activity centers, including two hospitals, two universities, numerous trade schools, city and county government centers, and employment centers, along with major shopping, hospitality and entertainment venues.

The 14 articulated vehicles manufactured by New Flyer for the sbX line are the first five-door, compressed natural gas powered, 60-footers ever built.

“The sbX coaches feature our first rear-facing, self-securement wheelchair positions, our first interior bike racks, and our first on board Wi-Fi and power outlets,” explained Omnitrans CEO/GM Scott Graham.

sbX vehicle delivers riders to a pep rally celebrating the completion of the Omnitrans new bus rapid transit line.
sbX vehicle delivers riders to a pep rally celebrating the completion of the Omnitrans new bus rapid transit line.
The BRT line utilizes traffic signal prioritization so sbX vehicles can advance through busy intersections. Dedicated station platforms offer real-time arrival displays, ticket vending machines, emergency telephones, customer call boxes and public art. To enhance security, the multiple video cameras at each station are monitored 24/7.

The Omnitrans sbX launch is the culmination of more than 10 years of planning, design, construction and system testing. Parsons Transportation Group helped initiate the project in 2004, taking it from alternatives analysis through final design. Jacobs Engineering handled construction management and related activities.

Project partners included Omnitrans, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA), San Bernardino Associated Governments, the City of San Bernardino and the City of Loma Linda.

Of the total $191.7 million project budget, 96% came from federal, state and county funds designated for transit projects, including $75 million from the FTA Small Starts Program. The project includes three elements: vehicle purchase, corridor construction and vehicle maintenance facility upgrades.

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