ORBT buses are here, but express route delayed to Fall 2020

Canopies for the ORBT express route are nearly finished, city officials said in an update Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. The route's launch has been re-scheduled for this fall. (Courtesy of Omaha Transit Authority)
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The city is in possession of 10 new express line buses, but residents won't see ORBT vehicles out on the streets until this fall at the earliest.

According to an update Friday from the city's transit authority, the buses are "hibernating" in the city's indoor bus barn and undergoing pre-launch inspections and testing.

"If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of one of our buses out on a test drive," the release states.

Three ORBT platforms on Dodge Street — at westbound 72nd, 84th, and 90th streets — are done, opening up traffic lanes and sidewalks again, according to the update. Construction on these stops started in late September, four months after plans for the express system were unveiled.

Four more westbound platforms are under construction — at 33rd, 42nd, 49th, and 62nd streets — as are eastbound stops at 15th and 19th streets, restricting traffic and sidewalks in those areas, according to the update on rideORBT.com. The Westroads Transit Center is also under construction.

Construction has not yet started on five westbound stops in the downtown area and 10 more along the route, the update states.

Meanwhile, in the Kansas City area, all 24 canopies are getting their finishing touches at Dimensional Innovations, the release states.