RANCHO CUCAMONGA - The city council and planning commission plan to hold a joint public workshop meeting on Tuesday to discuss plans for a bus rapid transit system, or BRT, through Foothill Boulevard.
Study for the entire Foothill Boulevard rapid transit bus system, which is expected to be run by Omnitrans and would link Highland to the Metrolink station in Montclair, is currently being conducted by the Southern California Association of Governments and the San Bernardino Associated Governments planning authorities.
The Rancho Cucamonga city meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the Tri-Communities room at City Hall, 10500 Civic Center Drive.
"What I hope to get out of our meeting is some consensus among the planning commission, as well as councilmembers, on the concept of the Bus Rapid Transit system," said Mayor Dennis Michael. "It's going to have to traverse through a number of cities and the coordination regionally is going to be critically important."
According to the city's general plan, seven stops are envisioned for a rapid transit bus route that could conceivably run down the middle of Foothill Boulevard, officials said. The general plan lists stops at Victoria Gardens, Day Creek Boulevard, Rochester Avenue, Milliken Avenue, Haven Avenue, Archibald Avenue and Vineyard Avenue.
"It's exciting," said Councilwoman Diane Williams, who projects development could take place as early as 2018 or sometime in the `20s. "We're planning ahead now. Perhaps gas will be $8 a gallon and people will be more inclined to use public transit, as opposed to getting in their car, especially for long trips. I think the whole concept is exciting. If it were to open tomorrow, I don't think it would be a success because mentally, we're not there yet, but planning ahead is a great way to go."
The BRT would also connect to a route up and down the Haven Avenue office corridor to the Ontario International Airport. Bus rapid transit, officials said, is faster, and has fewer stops, and uses higher-capacity vehicles with low floors and specially designed station platforms for quicker passenger boarding.
Goals include mitigating increasing traffic on the region's freeways, increasing bus ridership, fostering transit oriented development in the west valley of San Bernardino County, and providing better transit links between the Omnitrans system, Metrolink, the Gold Line, and the Ontario International Airport.
"The overall goal is to reduce traffic trips, reduce carbon emissions, and help with global warming emissions from traffic," said senior city planner Candyce Burnett. "This increases ridership along Foothill Boulevard. There will be opportunities, sites identified, and locations, for future transit oriented development, which will allow for higher density residential use and some commercial uses. That itself would support adjacent businesses and adjacent commercial areas, and increase the amount of residential activities in those areas."
Once completed, the regional interconnected transit systems would echo the Pacific Electric Railway and bus system which, in the 20th Century, had linked Redlands westward to Santa Monica and south to Newport Beach.
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