Updates recently provided to the City’s Mass Transit Board help give insight into Sun Metro’s current and future projects. The City department is working on four Bus Rapid Transit System (RTS) lines as well as getting ready to move into a new administrative and maintenance facility.
The long-planned Brio RTS lines will begin with the Mesa Corridor which will open next year. The Alameda Corridor will follow later in 2014, with the Dyer and Montana Corridors coming in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Renderings of a Brio articulated bus and station show a colorful motif using streaks of lime green and bright blue.
The Brio stations will have clock displays showing expected bus arrivals in real-time and will also have pre-board ticketing machines. The four Brio routes will have a total cost of $140 million, nearly half of which will come from federal funding.
Sun Metro’s brand new Operations & Maintenance Facility is progressing on the city’s east side. The $38 million facility is currently under construction at 10151 Montana Avenue, west of Global Reach Drive. Sun Metro will move to the 34 acre center from its current location adjacent to the Union Depot station in downtown El Paso.
Other coming projects include development of the streetcar project ($95 million) and the addition of two new transfer centers ($10 million). Three Transit Oriented Developments are in progress, at the Northgate Transfer Center, at the Far East Transfer Center, and at the Five Points Terminal.
In 2012, Sun Metro carried over 17,000,000 passengers on 166 buses. It has over 600 employees and operates on an annual budget of $61.1 million.