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 email@example.com
Monday, June 24, 2013
Inland Empire cities are planning for bus rapid-transit routes
Trend-setter: San Bernardino-to-Loma Linda line expected to lead Omnitrans network New routes: Analysis for paths running throughout county's West End is on the way
Omnitrans, which runs buses
throughout the San Bernardino Valley, is planning a network of bus
rapid transit. The Foothill Boulevard corridor, shown above and below in
Rancho Cucamonga, is considered one the top routes for potential
The first of 10 Omnitrans' bus rapid transit, or BRT, systems, is in
what is known as the E Street Corridor in the San Bernardino area. It is
set to be completed within a year and will allow bus riders to travel
north and south from Cal State San Bernardino to Loma Linda University.
Dubbed SBX, which stands for San Bernardino Express, buses will
have designated stops and the ability to change stoplights to green for
speedier travel through. In some cities, designated lanes have been
envisioned for bus travel.
Still in the first planning phase, Omnitrans -- the public bus agency
for an area extending from Chino Hills on the west to Yucaipa on the
east -- has been able to secure a $850,000 Federal Transit
Administration grant to conduct a route and mode-of-transit analysis for
the Holt Blvd./Fourth Street Corridor.
This route will run from Fontana, near Kaiser Permanente Medical
Center, through Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Montclair and end at the
Transcenter in Pomona.
"We recognize this as a different type of premium transit opportunity
for people not only visiting relatives in different communities, but
also living in a community and working in another," said Matt Pilarz,
acting city engineer "It's just a faster way for people to use transit
other than their car and give them something competitive if they are
using a car."
Construction for the rapid-transit bus corridors is dependent on
funding, and Omnitrans officials hope SBX's potential success will help
bring in money for the rest of the system.
"We would have to go through the same process we did with the current
project to get the project grant agreement with the federal government
to begin work on the next corridor," said Omnitrans spokesman David
Rutherford. "Our plan now is to go forward with the Holt Boulevard
project because that's the one we've received funding for."
All corridor projects start at this first phase, formally called the
alternative analysis phase. Next is an environmental phase followed by a
When those are complete, Rutherford said, Omnitrans would submit a
full plan to the FTA, which could then issue a full grant agreement, and
"that's when the construction would begin."
first rapid-bus system is slated to be completed within a year from
San Bernardino to Loma Linda.
Local cities, however, are not waiting around for the project's dirt to move. They've already started planning.
Ontario and Fontana are both conducting studies on the feasibility of
bus rapid transit along the corridor in their cities and have begun to
identify optimal locations for stations/stops and dedicated transit
Ontario's Holt Boulevard Mobility and Streetscape Strategic Plan was
presented to its City Council on April 5, while Fontana's Sierra-Valley
Land Use Study was presented to its Planning Commission on March 19.
Both studies involved public outreach, including surveys, and both
studies are nearing completion, Omnitrans officials said.
For the past three years, Fontana officials have met with Omnitrans,
the Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, and San
Bernardino Associated Governments, or SanBAG, on their system-wide
transit plan and corridors.
Moreover, the city's general plan has goals and polices set in their support of the rapid transit system.
"We've been collaborating as far as design, defining the route,
where it would be best suited in the city and what would be preferred as
far as dedicated or shared lanes," said Stephanie Hall, Fontana's
In Pomona, Pilarz said having a bus-dedicated lane wouldn't be viable
because there is not much opportunity for widening streets.
"Another thing we would be looking at is connecting with the transit
center. That's an obvious hub here to link up to," he said.
"If that link is made, you're obviously going to have more demand of
people wanting to park, which means we would need a parking structure.
We've gotten into some specifics to what would be needed for this thing
At a recent Rancho Cucamonga planning meeting officials were given a
report from Terra Nova, a Palm Desert-based land planning consulting
firm, with recommendations and ideas on how to support high-density
transit-oriented development near proposed bus stations on Foothill
Two corridor projects in Rancho Cucamonga on Foothill Boulevard are expected in the system-wide plan.
Terra Nova certified planner John Criste said statistics have shown
office workers and residents as primary bus rapid transit users, but
residents in proximity to a transit station were more willing to walk a
greater distance than office workers.
The Foothill and Holt Boulevard/Fourth Street corridors were
identified as the top routes for potential ridership. The Holt
Boulevard/Fourth Street Corridor is based on the existing Omnitrans
Route 61, which has the highest ridership in the Omnitrans system at
around 6,000 average daily boardings, agency officials said.
Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner, who is also the president of the
Omnitrans board, said the Holt route would have a dedicated bus lane.
"BRT is the intermediate step between bus and light rail, so normally
you use BRT to test a route to see what the ridership will be. It
certainly creates an economic opportunity because you can do transit
oriented development -- as you would do with high rail," Wapner said.
"What's really neat about BRT is once it proves itself as a really
successful route we can then lay light rail on there and take the buses
and do BRT somewhere else in the city. It can be interchanged."
The overall vision for the SBX system was approved by SanBAG in 2004
with goals that included mitigating increasing traffic on the region's
freeways, increasing bus ridership, fostering transit-oriented
development in San Bernardino County's West End, and providing better
transit links between the Omnitrans system, Metrolink, the Gold Line,
and L.A./Ontario International Airport.