The Emerald Express (EmX)
is a bus rapid transit
(BRT) system in the Eugene
metropolitan area in Oregon
, United States
. It is provided by the Lane Transit District
(LTD) which is the public transit
authority in Lane County, Oregon
LTD chose bus rapid transit after a review process in which several transportation options, including light rail, were considered. It was decided that the BRT option was the best fit for Eugene-Springfield's size and current transportation needs.
The EmX system is made up of sections of dedicated bus lanes in most areas, with normal roads in between. The route is 60% dedicated bus lane. The vehicles are given signal priority via ground-loop signaling to the traffic control system, with special traffic signals at intersections. In the first month of operation the system was not completely working; buses had to achieve careful positioning to communicate with the signaling loop, and light priority was not always immediate. Early tests of the system caused the light control systems to crash when signal priority was requested, resulting in blinking reds in all directions until an engineer could reset the terminal. LTD worked with the control software vendor to iron out the bugs. Most of the problems have been worked out by now. The vehicles have two sets of doors on both sides, allowing loading from platforms on either side. For the first few years there will be no fare. The vehicles are equipped with continuously variable transmission which allows for quick but smooth acceleration from stops and through the various road segments.
The first line of EmX, the Franklin Corridor (or EmX Green Line), began service on January 14
. It runs from the Eugene Station in downtown Eugene to the Springfield Station in downtown Springfield, and also serves the University of Oregon
. The Green line is four miles long and cost $25 million to design and build.
- High Street
- Dads' Gates
Pioneer Parkway Line
A second line, the Pioneer Parkway Corridor, is currently in the final planning stages (as of 2008). Service is planned to begin in 2010.
This line would link downtown Springfield to a new regional medical center being built in the Gateway District of North Springfield. This new line has received federal approval to begin the project development stage. LTD eventually plans to run EmX along all main transportation corridors in the metro area.
- E Street
- F Street
- Q Street
- Hayden Bridge
- Sacred Heart
- International Way East
- Maple Island
- International Way West
- Kruse Way
- Postal Way
- Guy Lee
LTD is currently in the progress of planning the expansion of EmX's service into the west Eugene area. A currently undetermined route will connect West Eugene with Dowtown Eugene and Springfield.