Omaha buses to get free Wi-Fi, more frequent pick-ups


OMAHA, Neb. (FOX 42 KPTM)-- Omaha's bus system is about to step into the modern era.

Metro announced the ORBT (pronounced Orbit) rapid bus system last year. On Thursday, the transit agency and Omaha mayor, Jean Stothert, unveiled more plans.

The line will offer riders prepaid boarding, Wi-Fi, real-time displays for arrival times along with a smartphone bus tracker, and new stations.

"It's going to come to fruition and it's really going to happen. We're really excited about it. We're really committed to it and we're committed to making the balance of our system better," said Curt Simon, Metro executive director.

Officials also unveiled the route, It goes from Westroads into downtown Omaha and back.

It mostly follows along the route of the current 2 line down Dodge, but officials say it will stop less often and get people where they need to be quicker. It will also pick up every 10 minutes. Right now, peak pick up is about every 15 minutes. Outside of peak hours, it's about once every half hour.

Traffic lights outside of downtown will be able to recognize an ORBT bus and give them longer green lights.

The downtown area will be getting dedicated lanes for the ORBT buses.

The buses themselves will have three entrance/exits and will have on board bike storage.

Construction is scheduled to start this fall.

Officials say it's just the start, eventually they say ORBT will provide rapid transit all around the city.

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