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Metro launches technologically-advanced mass transit system

Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 07:57:44-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — There's a new way to ride around town. Metro Transit revealed its new, Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT) system on Tuesday.

The new system was unveiled at the station located on 20th and Dodge Streets by Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Metro Transit representatives.

"I think that this is not only about where we are now but it’s where we’re going as a city in the future. As we see development in our urban core but all over town, it’s going to offer all of our citizens another option for transportation," Stothert said.

Metro intended ORBT to be very user-friendly. Officials say it's like an upgraded version of Omaha's already-existing transit system.

It features things such as real-time route location updates, arrival times and ticketing kiosks to allow for an easier experience.

"I think it’s a lot of it has to do with the rider experience which is all really based in the technology so just an incredibly easy experience for the rider, especially a new time rider," said Jay Lund, the Chair of Metro Transit's board of directors. "Kind of removing as many of those barriers as we can for new riders is what is very exciting."

Metro representatives say ORBT will also be more reliable. Portions of the routes have designated bus lanes and certain intersections have technology that allows buses to ensure they don't get stuck at red lights.

"What we’re using a lot of the technology for with ORBT is to make sure we’re able to keep the buses on time and keep that ten-minute frequency," Lauren Cencic, CEO of Metro Transit said.

ORBT will begin with a route along Dodge Street between the downtown area and Westroads Mall and plans on adding more routes in the future.

ORBT will begin servicing the community Wednesday, November 18. The fare will be free for the first four months then it will be $1.25.