Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brio Webpage Refreshed: City Updates Bus RTS Site

In just over one year’s time, El Pasoans will be using Sun Metro’s newest addition, the Brio Bus Rapid Transit System (RTS). And now the City has revamped Brio’s webpage (www.sunmetro.net/brio.html) with lots of new information and graphics regarding the “like rail” system that will go live in 2014.
This rendering from the Brio page at Sun Metro's website shows what the RTS unit will look like. (sunmetro.net)

New renderings of what the 62 foot articulated bus units will look like show the same bright blue, white, and green color scheme that Sun Metro adopted within the last few years. The buses have an extension in the back to allow room for more passengers, made distinct by the bendable midsection that looks like an accordion.

Other details include unique rearview mirrors and a front windshield that’s framed by a large swooping curve that creates a large smile on the bus’s façade. The units will have three boarding doors for passengers to use.

The interior of the buses will include 58 seats with additional standing room for 25 passengers. There will be two positions for wheelchairs and an inside rack with room for three bicycles. WiFi is also incorporated into each unit.

Shelters that will serve the Brio line will also provide free WiFi, as well as bike racks, shade screens, and trash cans that compact the refuse inside using solar power. Passengers will purchase bus fare using Ticket Vending Machines, or TVMs. Both shelters and buses will have electronic real-time displays.
Brio buses along the RTS lines will have stops about every mile, less frequent than regular bus routes. This translates to bus service at any given stop within 10 to 15 minutes. Buses will also have signal prioritization, meaning that they may be able to make a green light last longer in order to get through intersections more quickly.

The Mesa Corridor is the first that will come online; it broke ground last week. It will cost $27.1 million to construct with most of the project paid by federal and state funds. Ten buses will be used on the route which will run from the Downtown Transfer Center to the Westside Transfer Center on Remcon Circle.
The Mesa Corridor will run from the Downtown Transfer Center to the Westside Transfer Center.

The Alameda Corridor is scheduled to open in 2015, with the Dyer and Montana Corridors planned for the following two years. The website states that fares should remain the same but may increase to help fund the Dyer Corridor.

The Brio webpage can be found at www.sunmetro.net/brio.html.