The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will run north and south from Downtown Fresno, along the Blackstone corridor, to River Park. A second line will run East and West, from Downtown to Southeast Fresno, along the Ventura and Kings Canyon corridor. The buses will run on 10 minute intervals during the day.
In a six to one vote on Thursday, the Fresno City Council approved the revised BRT plan. The original plan called for raised platforms, custom built bus stops and longer 60-foot fuel efficient buses.
Following a previous ' no' vote for BRT, the city revised the plan to use regular forty foot buses and standard bus stops, with mass produced covers.
"I'm really sad that they're doing 30 min frequency at night instead of keeping 20 minute frequency in the original plan. I'm sad that the railings are gone now, and the more distinctive features, but it's better than nothing," said Christine Barker, Fresno.
The changes cut $13 million from the project. The city says federal grant money will cover the initial costs and operating expenses for the first three years.
By 2017, the city hopes to have a $9 million operating reserve. If BRT is unsuccessful, the city council says, the 17 new buses and routes can be absorbed into the current Fresno Area Express system.