LiveGreen: ORBT launches

by Melanie Stewart, LiveGreen | November 17, 2020

Image with file name: ORBT111720.jpg

Omaha's Bus Rapid Transit (ORBT) will officially launch Wednesday, Nov. 18. We have written previous blogs on ORBT, as this is a big step forward for Omaha. ORBT is different than other bus routes; here are a few important details:
  • ORBT stations have canopies, audio/visual real-time arrival announcements, pre-paid boarding, level boarding and interior bike racks.
  • Buses are bigger, more spacious inside and have three doors to speed up stops.
  • Most of the day, a new bus will arrive every 10 minutes.
  • For the first four months, ORBT will be free for everyone, all the time.
  • On-board/free Wi-Fi.
  • Many ORBT stops have Heartland B-cycle stations to speed up your commute after you get off the bus.
  • ORBT will replace Route 2
    • Start (downtown) and End (Westroads) are the same.
    • Daily round trips will increase from 65 to 100.
    • Frequently used stops are the same, but less frequently used stops have been adjusted. However, 94% of riders will have their stop changed by three blocks or less.
  • Other routes are being adjusted to make better connections with ORBT, including more 92 Express trips to Village Pointe, see MyRideOMA to double-check your route.

Drivers are being asked to share the road. You will notice the big, orange buses and the bus-only lanes downtown. Traffic cannot enter those lanes unless they are making a right turn. Watch this short video for details. "Transit Signal Priority" has been installed at intersections west of 30th Street, allowing buses to extend green lights and keep them moving. ORBT also will have a queue jump at 84th Street; the bus will receive a green light first while the rest of the traffic waits, allowing it to safely merge into, and get ahead of, traffic. Watch this short video to see how it works.

While we're excited about ORBT's launch, your safety and efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 transmissions are of utmost importance. If you are traveling to/from campus and can do so in a more socially distanced manner (walking, biking, carpooling with someone you live with, or driving alone) please do so. If you need the bus to get to work/receive care, please wear a mask covering your mouth and nose, don't touch your face, social distance as much as possible, wash your hands frequently, and know that Metro is working to keep buses clean.

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