April 28, 2014

San Bernardino’s New sbX Green Line is Latest Example of True BRT in the US

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San Bernardinos’ new, biarticulated buses run on compressed natural gas. Source: Omnitrans.org 

For residents of San Bernardino, California, the future is here. Monday marks the opening of the eagerly anticipated sbX Green Line- bringing bus rapid transit through some of the city’s highest demand areas. With state of the art technology and corridor design, the new system offers area residents many financial, social, and environmental benefits. The bronze sbX Green Line will become the United States’ sixth award winning BRT corridor, showing once again that the internationally renowned bus-based rapid transit system can be successfully brought to a US context.

Monday, April 28th marks the official opening to the public of the sbX Green Line, run by the regional transit agency, Omnitrans. For the first week, trips will be free, and stations will have ‘ambassadors’ to answer new riders’ questions.

The corridor’s use of center aligned, BRT-only lanes through key sections of downtown San Bernardo allows for quicker and more efficient travel through the city than traditional bus or personal vehicles. Further increasing convenience and speed, sbX Green Line buses have traffic signal priority (which coordinates bus times and traffic lights) and cameras that enforce the bus lane.

San Bernardino residents use the system on its opening day.  Source: Omnitrans.org
San Bernardino residents use the system on its opening day. Source: Omnitrans.org

All stations offer pre-paid, off-board fare purchases, and platform-level boarding so that riders can step from the station platform directly onto the bus, with no need for steps. This significantly improves the system’s accessibility for people with baby strollers, wheelchairs, and the elderly. There are also bike racks at every station to promote accessibility and intermodal connections.

The sbX Green Line is expected to bring many benefits to the local community. For riders, it will reduce travel times and increase access to many of the region’s most popular destinations, including several universities, medical centers, the Hospitality Lane commercial area, and a stadium and events center. Reduced traffic, congestion and emissions will be good for everyone in the city and the region.

With all these features, the San Bernardino sbX Green Line has earned a Bronze BRT ranking on the BRT Standard, a sign that the city’s leadership is courageous and that San Bernardino will remain a modern, competitive city. Only four other corridors in the United States have achieved bronze-standard and one – Cleveland’s HealthLine BRT – has achieved silver. As cities in the United States continue to invest in high-quality BRT, San Bernardino is leading the way with an impressive new system that is sure to help move the city into a new era.

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