Widgets Magazine
  • First look at Bus Rapid Transit system to connect NW OKC to downtown

    Preliminary plans have been presented for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, a $28.8 million investment to quickly move passengers between northwest Oklahoma City and downtown.

    The city has contracted with HNTB, an infrastructure design firm based in Kansas City.

    HNTB presented what they termed a “30% design”; a preliminary step to identify the system basics so that property and utility coordination can commence.

    The proposed route includes 32 stops running from the heart of downtown, along Classen then generally following Northwest Expressway to a terminus near Meridian Avenue. The entire route would be 9.5 miles one-way.

    The system is designed to move people much more quickly than a standard bus, with few stops, traffic signal prioritization and other features to increase efficiency.

    The compressed natural gas vehicles would emit close to zero emissions and feature elevated stops that allow for level boarding, similar to the Oklahoma City streetcar.

    Travel time from end to end would be 12-15 minutes during peak times and 20 minutes maximum. The buses would also come more frequently than in the current system and stations would provide real-time arrival times.

    The route is designed to serve high-density locations and to be integrated with pedestrian and bike routes. Each station would have a bike rack and ticket vending machine as well as a shelter and ample lighting in addition to pylon signage with arrival information.

    Like the streetcar, the BRT vehicles would have signal priority, either elongated or early green lights. At some intersections, such as Penn and NW Expressway, the vehicles would receive a green light before automobile traffic, allowing the BRT buses to “jump the queue” and get out in front of traffic.

    The goal is transportation that more closely approaches rail as opposed to a traditional bus.

    The $28.8 million budget includes the vehicles and stations and signalization but there will also be matching civic funds for pedestrian enhancements and connections.

    Two Park & Ride locations would be located at Penn Square Mall at the northern terminus.

    An exact timetable for start and completion was not provided as the project continues to move forward.

Single Sign On provided by vBSSO