The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced an $86.8 million construction grant award to Omnitrans and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to help build out the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit (BRT) project, according to the FTA's news release.
The project will give commuters in San Bernardino County new connections to jobs, health care, Ontario International Airport, and other destinations for people living in Pomona, Ontario, and other communities in the region.
“Good public transit means easier and more affordable commutes, reduced pollution, and better options,” said Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation secretary. “We’re proud to help San Bernardino deliver its first zero-emissions bus route, connecting more people to jobs, health care, and other vital resources.”
Omnitrans will expand its network with climate-friendly electric buses over 19 miles.
The West Valley Connector will be the county’s second rapid bus line. The new BRT line will run through the west side of San Bernardino County and into Los Angeles County, linking the cities of Pomona, Montclair, Ontario, and Rancho Cucamonga, as well as two Metrolink commuter rail stations that service Southern California.
Riders will also be able to reach Ontario International Airport. Local officials estimate the finished project will serve more than 1.3 million riders a year by 2040.
“Thanks to the West Valley Connector, people who live and work in San Bernadino County will have a faster, more affordable travel option to get to jobs and schools, and visit friends and family,” said Nuria Fernandez, FTA administrator.
To advance San Bernardino County’s Zero Emission Bus Initiative, which aims to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, the West Valley Connector BRT will be a 100% clean energy ride. The 19-mile route will include 3.5 miles of center-running dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, and queue jumps so buses can avoid congestion.
The federal support for the West Valley Connector BRT, which is estimated to cost $310.5 million, comes from FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.