C-Tran has hired a project manager and will spend the next year and a half honing its plan for a bus rapid transit line along Fourth Plain corridor.
Chuck Green, who has worked for the past 13 years as a transportation planner with the consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff in Portland, began his new job as C-Tran’s bus rapid transit planning manager at the start of the year.
Green previously worked as a transportation planner with Clark County.
Bus rapid transit, which typically uses elongated buses on dedicated lanes with fewer stops, would run from the Vancouver mall transit station into downtown. From Clark College to downtown, planners envision the buses would share right-of-way with light rail tracks embedded within downtown streets, assuming Portland’s light rail transit system is extended to Vancouver on a new Interstate 5 bridge.
The current estimated cost for the Vancouver bus rapid transit line is $75 million.
C-Tran spokesman Scott Patterson said planners anticipate the federal government will pick up 80 percent of the cost. Local voters would supply the rest if they choose to boost the sales tax by one-tenth of 1 percent in a ballot measure expected in November.
Business owners along Fourth Plain Boulevard have expressed concern about customers losing access to their businesses with the elimination of center lanes and prevention of left turns.
Patterson said Green will lead the transit agency’s analysis of alternatives.
Patterson said the agency’s board of directors will select a specific alternative by the summer of 2012. In the meantime, the analysis will explore whether to put the entire line in a fixed guideway or whether the buses will operated in mixed traffic lanes.
The Federal Transit Administration is providing $1.7 million for the alternatives analysis, with C-Tran kicking in $426,000 as the local match.
The planning process will include a traffic impacts study, public outreach and associated costs, Patterson said. It will also explore whether the new express line should replace or supplement the popular No. 4 fixed route that currently runs along Fourth Plain.