Monday, April 28, 2014

Omnitrans sbX: Rapid Transit comes to San Bernardino

Graphic: Omnitrans
The sbX is here and is now open!

Bus riders aboard Omnitrans Route 2 finally now have a quicker way to get up and down the E Street corridor in San Bernardino. The long awaited sbX bus rapid transit line which connects CSU San Bernardino to the Loma Linda University Medical Center area via downtown San Bernardino is now open to the public. Omnitrans has dubbed this first of several BRT routes as the sbX Green Line. The transit agency has published an extensive fact sheet of sbX here. To keep it short, the Green Line will operate Monday through Friday as the vast majority of activity from the dense hubs occur during the week. Service will start at 6 a.m. with the last bus departing at 8 p.m. The service frequency between rapid buses will be 10 minutes during rush hours and 15 minutes at other times. The line will also operate in dedicated transit lanes through the downtown area. During this first week of operations, riders can try the line out for free!

Riders needing to transverse the E Street Green Line corridor early in the morning, later in the evening or on weekends can use Route 2 as an alternative. After the opening week, sbX fares will be the same as for Omnitrans regular fixed route service.

Photo: Omnitrans
The question many people are wondering: Will sbX be successful?

We won't really know for sure until after a few months of operations. That will be the time when Omnitrans has the actual ridership facts beyond the opening crowds. We do however predict that it will be a success, simply because the existing Route 2 is one of Omnitrans' busiest routes. In addition, two existing express bus routes connect to the Green Line. Omnitrans Route 215 connects at downtown and Pass Transit Route 120 connects at Loma Linda.

Also, plans are underway to extend the Metrolink San Bernardino Line into the downtown core, develop the downtown multi-modal transit station which includes seamless transfers, and introduce mid-range plans for future Omnitrans commuter buses. Those connections will link out-of-area riders with the sbX which will for sure drive up the ridership pool with choice riders, something that officials were longing for.

This is a great day for San Bernardino. If you're in the area, be sure to try out the sbX! If you don't live in region, try it out anyway because it won't be long until connecting Metrolink trains and additional express buses will link out-of-area riders to the sbX.

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