Rapid Transit Bus Service Proposed for Peoria - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Rapid Transit Bus Service Proposed for Peoria

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When it comes to bus routes, the 105 on Peoria is often packed.

"Cause it'd be full and you have to stand up, just like I just got off one, I had to stand up coming down here," said Sandra Nelson.

The route handles 20% of tulsa's bus riders, taking them to 20% of the city's jobs, making it the perfect candidate for supplemental service.

"We're looking at taking the travel time down from 70 minutes to 50 minutes and improving the frequency from every 30 minutes down to every 15 minutes," said James Wagner of INCOG.

The proposal is called Bus Rapid Transit, featuring vehicles with a unique look and limited bus stops. Think of it as light rails little brother, without light rail's price tag.

"It's about 1/20th the cost of light rail but really has a similar benefit in terms of frequency and user benefit that light rail does," he said.

As it is now, Tulsa's caught in that in between zone of demand for greater service but not quite having the capital or population to justify expansion. The result?

"Here yeah, your busses kind of suck," laughed Alicia Cundiff, a frequent bus rider in Denver, Colorado. In town to visit family. Her thoughts on rapid transit for Peoria?

"Considering the diversity of Peoria, especially going towards southbound, you know you go through a lot of neighborhoods, the really ritzy ones, you go through the shopping ones, you go through the low income ones, there's a lot of people that really need that bus system," she said.

The price tag? $15 million to get up and running with another $1.1 million a year for operating costs. Compared to the $300 million the same service would cost for light rail.

"This is really common in the Midwest and the southwest where there really isn't the density to support rail, but there is the density to support something like bus rapid transit," said Wagner.

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