El Paso, Texas’ Sun Metro and city officials introduced the first completed Rapid Transit System (RTS) station and showcased eight of the 60-foot articulated vehicles that will be used for the new upcoming RTS service, known as the Sun Metro Brio.
Sun Metro Brio will introduce El Pasoans to a high-quality transit service that offers similar benefits to light rail transit, such as improved speed and reliability, but at a much lower implementation cost.
Construction along the Mesa Street corridor — the first of four corridors — began in June 2013 and is ongoing. The construction consists of the installment of 22 Brio stations from the Downtown Transfer Center to the Westside Transfer Center.
The Glory Road inbound (southbound) station became the first completed station for the Brio RTS Mesa corridor. The total project cost for the Brio Mesa corridor is $27.1 million, of which $13.5 million is funded by the Federal Transit Administration.
The Sun Metro Brio will use modern, rubber-tire, high capacity New Flyer articulated vehicles. The vehicles will have a frequency of 10 minutes during peak service and 15 minutes during off-peak Monday through Friday, a 20-minute frequency on Saturday and no service on Sunday.
The low-floor Brio vehicles will run on compressed natural gas, have three doors for faster boarding, free Wi-Fi, two TV monitors for passenger information, three interior bicycle racks, two wheelchair positions and signal prioritization.
The Glory Road Brio station, which is distinctly branded, offers shade screens, free Wi-Fi, landscaping, a real-time arrival sign, a 17-foot high pylon, benches, bike racks, a BigBelly solar-powered trash compactor and a 10-inch platform to allow for near-level boarding.
A ticket vending machine will be installed prior to the start of the Brio service in late summer/early fall to allow for an improved and faster fare collection system.
The majority of the stations, which will be placed about a mile apart, will also feature public artwork that is collectively known as "Leaves of Air," created by Boston-based Artist Catherine Widgery. The elusive artwork, which is set in the perforated shade screens, are images of local flora that can only be perceived as people move past the Brio station.