Omnitrans pushes faster bus service
The public can learn about plans for an express bus service between north San Bernardino and Loma Linda during a workshop Monday.
The nearly 16-mile route, called sbX, is intended to provide a faster, more convenient alternative to regular bus service. It would operate on compressed natural gas rather than diesel fuel, reducing ozone-forming emissions by an average of 80 percent, officials say.
Expected to hit the streets in December 2011, sbX would go through downtown San Bernardino along E Street and make stops at Cal State San Bernardino and Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Omnitrans, the bus provider for the San Bernardino Valley, is the lead agency on the project.
The proposed service would start at Palm and Kendall Drive in San Bernardino and end near the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center in Loma Linda. Part of the route would have dedicated "bus-only" lanes and traffic-signal priority to allow buses to bypass congested intersections during heavy traffic times.
"Public transportation is going to be revolutionized here shortly," said Loma Linda Councilman Floyd Petersen, a member of the Omnitrans board of directors.
The Federal Transit Administration has prepared an environmental assessment for the project. The public can submit comments on the report through May 16.
The project is estimated at $175 million, with the bulk of the money coming from federal funds. State and local dollars also would be used.
David Rutherford, Omnitrans' communications and community relations manager for the project, said the route could be a "tremendous catalyst" to help revitalize downtown San Bernardino.
"The region desperately needs something like this to give it a shot in the arm," Rutherford said.
IF YOU GO: Learn about plans for an express bus service during a workshop from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Norman Feldheym Public Library, 555 W. Sixth St., San Bernardino. Information: 1-877-729-4777.