Friday, January 10, 2014
Improving RTA Bus Transit In Eastvale
In response to reported rider requests in the Eastvale area that took place during the Christmas holiday, The Riverside Transit Agency will be taking a fresh look of how public transportation can be improved in the region as part of its Comprehensive Operational Analysis study. Will that be enough to convince officials to better close the transit gap with routes in San Bernardino County?
Improving the connections between the counties has taken several years already with little to no progress in this area. A previous COA in 2007 recommended RTA to work with San Bernardino County officials and establish a transfer hub at the South Ontario Metrolink Station. That never happened; the collapse of the economy can be partially blamed. A long range plan for expanded sbX bus rapid transit service shows that Omnitrans is at least interested in addressing this issue.
As shown on this map, getting between Eastvale and San Bernardino County currently involves a long, circuitous journey. From the south one must take Route 3 to Eastvale's transfer hub at the Eastvale Gateway shopping center. From there, the rider would take Route 29 and then transfer to Route 21 in the Mira Loma area and head to another hub just north of the Country Village area. The lone Omnitrans connecting line in Country Village is Route 82 which runs about once every hour. A short ride between many parts of Eastvale and destinations in San Bernardino County can take several hours which is why we need an improved routing system through the region under the hub and spoke model.
Currently, we are calling on officials to improve the Eastvale Gateway transit hub with timed transfers between routes, extend Route 29 past the Eastvale Gateway area to better cover the western parts of town and streamline Route 3 to cover the Hamner Ave corridor with a future extension south to Lake Elsinore. In addition, we're advocating for two additional Omnitrans routes that would better connect to points north. One would be a local line that connects Eastvale directly to Chaffey College via Miliken Ave with train connections at the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station. The other--based on long term official proposals--would be along a future sbX Rapid corridor from Eastvale west through Chino into Diamond Bar with connections to Foothill Transit. The route would start as local route and evolve into a rapid route conditioned on pedestrian-friendly growth along the corridors.
Pending such area growth, a future local line could link west Eastvale with the Ontario Civic Center transfer hub to the north with the Corona Transit Center to the south. Also, officials from both counties are planning high occupancy toll lanes for the I-15. Having a HOT lane direct access ramp to/from the Eastvale hub would provide the infrastructure for future rapid express lines and existing private sector routes.
Improving the routes and infrastructure will require additional resources from both RTA and Omnitrans that should be considered and budgeted. It is long past due for officials to implement better hub and spoke routing through Eastvale. For years, The Transit Coalition has advocated for better transit connections and now, such improvements are at least somewhat being considered in official plans. We hope that such improvements do become a reality.
For the record: A previous version of this post showed that we advocated for an sbX transit route between Eastvale and Diamond Bar which omitted that it was long range and conditioned on pedestrian-friendly transit oriented growth along the corridor, implying that we supported BRT with the current suburban demographics. We've clarified the statement.