By Torilynn Qualls |Staff Writer|
New Omnitrans sbX’s project natural gas bus line is set to open in early 2014, running 15.7 miles from Northern San Bernardino to Loma Linda.
Accompanying these 14 newly modeled buses are 16 art-inspired stations.
All buses include free WiFi and electrical outlets to charge your electronics on the go; also CSUSB’s participation in the “Go Smart” program allows enrolled students unlimited bus rides just by swiping their student ID.
Other benefits of the Omnitrans sbX project include: public transit development, economic growth, and reduced vehicular emissions and traffic.
Some downfalls of the project can be the creation of a new center lane for buses and center lane stations running from E Street to Hospitality Lane, causing U-turn traffic build up.
The Omnitrans sbX buses will have stations in the following locations: Hunts Lane, Carnegie Drive, Tippecanoe Avenue, Marshall Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Baseline Street, Inland Center Mall, Civic Center, Veteran Affairs Hospital, Redlands Boulevard, Loma Linda University, San Bernardino Transit Center, CSUSB, Little Mountain Drive, Shandin Hills Drive, and Palm Avenue.
The sbX project is said to be fully funded according to the project’s website.
In total the project is set to cost $191.7 million dollars.
Federal funding will cover roughly 73.9 percent of the cost; and the state will cover about 15.7 percent of the cost.
San Bernardino County will cover about 6.2 percent in designated transit funds.
And the final 4.2 percent will come from contributions from the cities of San Bernardino and Loma Linda.
The sbX project includes 14 newly designed 60 feet long, natural gas buses, with interior bike racks and wheelchair accessible boarding platforms.
Each station will have shelters to protect passengers from the sun, wind, and rain; as well as electronic components powered through solar energy.
The Omnitrans sbX project has created 16 art-inspired bus stations at key universities, government facilities, entertainment spots, and medical centers along the route.
According to the sbX project website, the design of each bus station will try and reflect the community and heritage it serves.
Some highlight station designs include the Veteran Affairs Hospital in which a tribute statue to our military veterans will be adorned with dog tags surrounding the statue and an American Flag design at the top, in addition to historical photographs placed along the station’s walls.
As well as the Redlands Boulevard station, which will have a statue with historic photographs covering the base, with an old fashioned key arrangement at the top.
Other highlight stations include the Loma Linda University station which will have a statue with an Orchid design, as well as historical photographs placed along the station’s walls.
The Inland Center Mall and our very own CSUSB station will have statues each with a modern take on nature, and the Little Mountain Drive and Shandin Hills Drive stations will include historical photographs adorning their stations’ walls.
It is evident that this free transportation will be very beneficial to commuter students in northern San Bernardino as well as those who live on campus.
For more information about the new Omnitrans sbX project please visit: www.omnitrans-sbx.org.