On Friday, officials with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a $28.22 million grant award for the City of El Paso’s Montana Rapid Transit System Corridor Project.
“I am so pleased to share that El Paso is the recipient of a major federal funding award,” Mayor Dee Margo said. “This multi-million dollar FTA grant will help us further modernize our region’s public transit system by helping to pay for the development of a Bus Rapid Transit system that connects the far East Side to downtown.”
The project, better known as the Montana Brio, will build a 16.8-mile bus rapid transit line that will run primarily on Montana Avenue. It will also provide convenient access to many other destinations including the El Paso Airport, the Five Points neighborhood, and the future Far East Side Transfer Center.
The total project cost is $49.2 million, and it is funded through a combination of federal, state and city funds.
Expanding Sun Metro’s Brio service to four corridors with the addition of the Montana Brio is an essential part of the City’s Strategic Plan to enhance its comprehensive transportation system.
The Dyer and Alameda Brio services became operational last year, and the Mesa Brio in 2014.
“These funds will be used to expand the El Paso transit system and better connect El Pasoans from all corners of the city,” U.S. Senator John Cornyn said. “Quality transportation services are vital for boosting local economic growth, and I commend the Trump Administration, Mayor Dee Margo, and other leaders in El Paso who worked to secure this funding.”
This major investment in public transit will allow residents and visitors to experience an improved transit service that is faster and more reliable, similar to those offered in larger cities with light rail transit systems.
Features of the Montana Brio include:
– A stand-alone El Paso International Airport station
– Branded buses and shelters
– Pre-paid automatic ticket vending machines
– Sidewalk improvements with landscaping and pedestrian lighting
– Benches, leaning rails and bike racks
The federal grant was made possible through the FTA’s 2016 Section 5309 Capital Investment Grant Small Starts fund.