The City of Fresno has held a ceremonial groundbreaking on a new public transit system designed to bring faster, more convenient bus service on two major commercial corridors.
The Bus Rapid Transit line is a proposal nearly two decades in the making.
Officially known as ‘The Q’, the new rapid transit buses are designed to more swiftly carrier riders north and south on Blackstone and east and west on Kings Canyon Boulevard.
The plan is to have the buses stop at stations every ten minutes and achieve faster service than regular buses by taking priority at lights, having stations spaced further apart, and requiring passengers purchase tickets at kiosks before boarding.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin considers the line to be the future of mass transit in Fresno.
“We have 12 million riders a year. It is one of the largest fixed-route transit systems operated by a city in the United States. 1.6 million on Blackstone and Venture Kings Canyon. I don’t think we have to prove anymore that there is demand for these services,” Swearengin said.
Construction of the line is expected to begin in Mid-June and take about a year and a half.
The 28-million dollar service is being paid for by state and federal grants.
After it’s complete, it will cost just short of 3-million dollars a year to operate. Swearengin thinks ticket fares and other grants will cover that expense.