California, Fresno City Council Approves BRT System Contract

California, Fresno City Council Approves BRT System Contract :On 28 January 2016 Fresno City Council members approved a $32.6 million construction contract to build a 25.2 km (15.7 mile) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system running north along Blackstone Avenue and east along Ventura Avenue/Kings Canyon Road. The central station between the two lines will be located at Courthouse Park. The system, called the “Q”, will count a total of 51 bus stops. Buses, running every 10-15 minutes, will have priority at traffic lights via queue jump lanes.

The approved bid, submitted by Adolph Teichert & Son Inc., is $4.4 million over the council’s engineering estimates. Adolph Teichert & Son Inc. is a 125 year old company based in Fresno that operates in the highway and street construction industry.

City officials now need to agree on cuts to the winning bid, in order to make it fit in the available budget. This process should apparently take “a couple of weeks”.

Among the potential cuts are:

$1.2 million for bus stop shelters
$1.9 for communication equipment
$1.1 million to buy pre-owned ticket vending machines in place of new ones

City Council staff will also pursue additional grants to help cover the extra cost of the project.

Construction is tentatively planned to start in March, with completion expected for October 2017.

Council Member Esmeralda Soria stated in an interview that “BRT is a significant investment that will provide better service and economic benefits for our residents, including increased mobility and community revitalization.”

Fresno (meaning ‘ash tree’ in Spanish) is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of California, with a population of 520,000. Public transport is provided by the Fresno Area Express (FAX).
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Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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