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FTA Announces $75 Million to Expand BRT at Lane Transit

During a Sept. 11 visit to the Lane Transit District (LTD) in Eugene, OR, FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan announced the award of $75 million in federal Small Starts funds for the third expansion of the agency’s Emerald Express (EmX) BRT system.

“Delivering vital transportation options to residents of Eugene is crucial to improving the quality of life in the state’s second largest city,” McMillan said.

The funding will allow LTD to construct a nine-mile transit corridor, West Eugene EmX, that will operate direct and frequent transportation service in west Eugene and connect to the existing 15-mile BRT system currently operating between downtown Eugene, downtown Springfield and the Gateway region in north Springfield. When completed, the new line will expand the EmX system by 60 percent and connect 52,000 residents who live along the corridor with an estimated 81,500 jobs located within one-half mile of the route.

LTD General Manager Ron Kilcoyne acknowledged the support of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and the city council, chamber of commerce and MPO for the project.

“As a city, we've invested millions and partnered with our businesses to grow downtown into the bustling hub it is now. Continuing to grow the EmX system is a key to our continued success in competing against cities much larger than us,” Piercy said.

The FTA grant accounts for most of the $96.5 million project cost, along with $2.1 million in federal formula funds, $1.6 million in ­ConnectOregon funds and $17.8 million in Oregon Lottery Bond funds.

When West Eugene EmX enters service in late 2017, it will offer enhanced travel corridors, new bicycle-pedestrian bridges, road improvements, new or rebuilt sidewalks, and new stations with real-time bus arrival displays. 

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan announces federal funding for an expansion of BRT in Eugene and Springfield, OR.
Photo courtesy of Lane Transit

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