In the Inland Empire, proposals to expand bus rapid transit continue to grow which will provide a fast alternative to slower all-local bus travel for area bus riders and choice riders using the connecting express bus and Metrolink routes. While San Bernardino has big plans for the sbX BRT system, officials in Riverside County continue to work on establishing the RapidLink BRT system… except it’s not quite BRT just yet. RapidLink’s first phase will actually be additional frequent peak-hour limited stop runs along the busy Magnolia Avenue corridor in Riverside, very similar to Metro Rapid except the runs will be peak only. $9.2 million was awarded toward RTA’s $12.3 million project which will pay for 40 buses and 3 years of operation. Our blog goes into further detail of what needs to happen to the area’s market economy in order to pay for and speed up the slow process of getting true BRT onto Riverside streets with all day service from early morning to late night, frequent service, and dedicated lanes through the high density areas.
In addition, the City of Riverside’s streetcar proposal, which overlaps the RapidLink route, continues to move forward. There still appears to be no coordination of the city’s project with RTA which has led the local press into holding the government entities accountable. Both agencies need to work together to actually get first-rate rapid transit lines built for Riverside and both need to agree on which technology would work best in regards to moving people and keeping costs in check, whether it be rail or BRT. We can’t afford to have uncoordinated transit projects becoming costly boondoggles.