Bus rapid transit system, ORBT enters next phase

Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 18:56:09-04

Metro Transit unveiled the design for the new bus rapid transit system which will be called ORBT (Omaha Rapid Bus Transit).   

The hope is to reduce congestion along Dodge Street and increase ridership.

Metro Executive Director Curt Simon said there will be fewer stops ultimately resulting in less waiting time with 10-minute intervals during rush hour.

There will be 28 separate stations along Dodge Street which will be constructed.

“The stations are like train stops it has level boarding the bus will be a 60-foot articulated vehicle,” said Simon.

The route will go from Westroads Mall to 10th and Dodge Street, “So for every person who rides a bus that's one less car on your commute that's one less car backing you up at stop lights slowing you down on your commute,” said Metro chair Daniel Lawse.

But the goal isn’t just about easing congestion; it's about luring in young millennials.

“A lot of people who are younger are saying I’d rather have a cell phone payment than a car payment and freedom to them is freedom to walk, bike bus, park ,carpool ride share,” said Lawse.

This new venture has some bus riders split on whether OBRT is worth it.

“The only problem with that is you can only get it to go to and from where you need to go and all the other little stops you need to worry about-it's not a shopping route. It's like I need to get to work I need to get to where I’m going faster,” said Robert Lafvan.

Long time rider Jim Condon takes the bus everyday, “I ride it for the convenience it's much less stressful when I work in the morning,” but said many people don’t use the buses now and he's skeptical about how many new people will actually take ORBT, “Citizens here have a more of a culture driving whether they have the opportunity or not”.


Simon believes roughly 27-hundred people will ride OBRT a day. It will be up and running at the end of 2018.