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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $86.8 Million Grant for Faster, Better Travel in San Bernardino, California

Monday, March 20, 2023

President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes historic investments to support more reliable, zero-emission transit service

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced an $86.8 million construction grant award to Omnitrans and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) to help build out the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit (BRT) project. The project will give commuters in San Bernardino County a faster, cleaner ride and provide new connections to jobs, health care, Ontario International Airport, and other destinations for people living in Pomona, Ontario, and other fast-growing communities in the region.

"Good public transit means easier and more affordable commutes, reduced pollution, and better options," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "We're proud to help San Bernardino deliver its first zero emissions bus route, connecting more people to jobs, health care, and other vital resources."

Omnitrans will expand its network with climate-friendly electric buses along 19 miles, providing faster, more frequent service than diesel-powered buses.

The West Valley Connector will be the county's second rapid bus line and builds on efforts to improve how people travel throughout the Southern California region. The new BRT line will run through the west side of San Bernardino County and into Los Angeles County, linking the cities of Pomona, Montclair, Ontario, and Rancho Cucamonga, as well as two Metrolink commuter rail stations that service Southern California. Riders will also be able to reach Ontario International Airport. Local officials estimate the finished project will serve more than 1.3 million riders a year by 2040.

FTA Regional Administrator Ray Tellis joined SBCTA and Omnitrans today to celebrate the grant award.

"Thanks to the West Valley Connector, people who live and work in San Bernadino County will have a faster, more affordable travel option to get to jobs, schools, and visit friends and family," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez.

To advance San Bernardino County’s Zero Emission Bus Initiative, which aims to have a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, the West Valley Connector BRT will be a 100% clean energy ride. The 19-mile route will include 3.5 miles of center-running dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, and queue jumps so buses can avoid congestion and quickly move riders on their way on what is the county’s most heavily traveled bus corridor.

The federal support for the West Valley Connector BRT, which is estimated to cost $310.5 million, comes from FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, which helps communities carry out transformational transit projects.