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Looking Ahead for Rapid Transit

In celebration of final local approval of West Eugene EmX, a party to celebrate and thank everyone who has worked to support EmX is being planned for 5:30 to 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Broadway Commerce Center, 44 W. Broadway. Mayor Kitty Piercy, LTD Board Chair Greg Evans and other local leaders are expected to attend. RSVP to rsvp@emxyes.org

What’s next for EmX? The LTD Board has approved proceeding into the design and development stages of the West Eugene EmX Extension. Meanwhile, LTD and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are completing the Environmental Analysis (EA) review process.

“If the FTA finds that all significant impacts have been avoided or mitigated, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) will be issued to complete the environmental planning and review process,” according to the LTD website.

After receiving funding authorization, LTD will begin developing detailed project designs. LTD will work with property owners along the corridor on project refinements that best meet the interests of property owners, businesses and the project. After the 18- to 24-month final design process is completed, “construction would progress in segments along the route to minimize the duration of construction at any location,” says LTD. “Given this schedule, the new West Eugene EmX service would open to the public in 2017. LTD hopes to accelerate this timeline, if possible.”

 LTD says the EmX Extension will benefit the community in several ways:

• Improvements along West 6th, 7th, and 11th avenues will increase capacity at eight major intersections, add 5.9 miles of new street pavement and add 4.7 miles of upgraded sidewalks.

• Two new bike/pedestrian bridges over Amazon Creek will provide connections to West 11th.

• An additional 8.8 new round-trip miles will be added to EmX for a total of 24 round-trip miles.

• Travel time will improve for both transit and regular traffic along the entire west Eugene corridor.

• LTD will experience lower long-term transit operating costs, “thereby maintaining funds for quality service into the future.”

See weemx.ltd.org for more information.