To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Regional rapid bus system sbX moving forward in San Bernardino
Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
12/23/2012 06:06:03 AM PST
A regional rapid bus
transit system, with faster vehicles that can load more riders, is
taking shape in the San Bernardino Valley.
Construction is under way on a line that runs down the E Street
corridor in San Bernardino, from Cal State San Bernardino to the Loma
Linda Behavioral Medicine Center in Redlands.
The middle portion of the E Street corridor features dedicated
lanes for the buses running down the middle of the road, and ticketing
platforms in the middle of key intersections that include Marshall
Boulevard, Highland Avenue, and Base Line Road.
Substantial completion is anticipated for early 2014, with
testing and training taking place at that time, said Omnitrans spokesman
The brand name for the rapid
bus system is sbX, which stands for San Bernardino Express, Rutherford
said. The E Street corridor is the first sbX line to be constructed.
It's part of a larger sbX network of corridors envisioned to run on key
thoroughfares throughout the San Bernardino valley and as far west as
Rutherford called the project a "light rail experience on wheels,"
citing loading platforms that mirror ticketing platforms for rail
projects such as the Gold Line.
"We want to reduce traffic congestion, and we think that by
making a service available that is faster, or a more frequent service,
that will attract a bigger ridership than we've had in the past with
these BRT lines," Rutherford said. "We're developing the corridors and
our goal is to provide connectivity with the other Omnitrans routes, as
well as other transit services."
Bus rapid transit, officials said, is faster, and has fewer
stops. The buses will also have traffic signal priority capability,
allowing them to change stoplights to green for speedier travel.
Goals include mitigating increasing traffic on the region's
freeways, increasing bus ridership, fostering transit-oriented
development in the west end of San Bernardino County, and providing
better transit links between the Omnitrans system, Metrolink, the Gold
Line, and the LA/Ontario International Airport.
Potential sbX corridors include the east to west streets of
Foothill Boulevard and Holt Boulevard, and north-south streets of
Mountain Avenue, Haven Avenue, Sierra Avenue, and Riverside Avenue. The
overall vision for an sbX system was approved by SANBAG in 2004.
Construction for other corridors is dependent on funding, and
Omnitrans officials hope potential success with the E Street corridor
will serve to bring money for the rest of the system.
"Before we even pursue (development on the other corridors),
we have to complete this (E Street) project," Rutherford said. "If the
(Federal Transit Administration) is satisfied with this corridor then, I
think that will lead to funding for future corridors."
An 18-month study on the Foothill corridor is ongoing, while a
preliminary study on Holt, to investigate stops and bus paths, is set
to begin in January.
Rancho Cucamonga city officials met this past week to discuss planning for a line on Foothill Boulevard and Haven Avenue.
"The takeaway from the
meeting I think is a recognition that it's a long-term project, and it's
not going to get done in the next year or two, but (city leaders) asked
that as we go along, we carefully analyze it, and we'll bring more
details back to them for further review," said Jeff Bloom, deputy city
manager for economic and community development.
City leaders, Bloom said, indicated desire to maintain bus
stop or station designs consistent with the city's overall aesthetic.
"In Rancho, they've very carefully made the bus terminal fit
the development," Bloom said. "They're very nicely done. They didn't
want the BRT to adversely change that in a bad way."
According to the city's general plan, seven stops are
envisioned, for a bus route that could conceivably run down the middle
of Foothill Boulevard. The BRT would also connect to a route down Haven
Avenue to the Ontario International Airport.
"I think bus rapid transit really is the future of transit," said Rohan Kuruppu, director of planning for Omnitrans.
"That's how we can most efficiently and effectively meet the
mobility needs of this region. It is sustainable because as traffic
conditions increases as congestion increases, we will still be able to
maintain the operating speed because of dedicated lanes, stations and