Eight news buses will soon be in service in Fort Worth.
Normally a few new buses wouldn't be all that newsworthy, but these new buses are different than the standard T bus and are part of a much larger improvement project from The T.
The new buses are 60-feet long, have three doors and are articluated -- which means they bend in the middle -- and they hold nearly 50 percent more passengers than a standard-sized bus.
The buses will run primarily along East Lancaster Avenue, which has the highest ridership in the city with 1 million riders a year, and will be called The Spur*. The Spur* is an acronym for Signal Priority Urban Route, which illustrates the use of electronic signal coordination with traffic lights to allow buses a priority on thoroughfares for more consistent travel.
In a news release Tuesday, The T said:
The Spur*'s second phase will be street and bus stop infrastructure improvements along East Lancaster to create an enhanced corridor more similar to passenger train service. The enhanced bus corridor will include more spacious, modern lighted bus shelters, stops with more detailed "You Are Here" route information, road and curb improvements to make boarding easier, and a GPS-based real-time passenger information system to let waiting passengers know when the next bus arrives.
The Spur* will replace the East Lancaster portion of Route 2 and the Route 2/Camp Bowie run from the Intermodal to Ridgmar Mall will remain a separate route.
The Spur* will run from the Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) along East Lancaster eastbound to Handley, where it will loop around Handley, Church and Halbert streets, back to East Lancaster westbound to the ITC.
The buses will hit the streets Oct. 2 when The T starts new fall routes. Those changes are below:
*Spur* - New service replacing Route 2/E. Lancaster (Weekday, Sat. & Sun.).
*Route 2/Camp Bowie will remain as a separate route from the ITC to Ridgmar Mall. (Weekday, Sat. & Sun.). No changes except that passengers coming from E. Lancaster to the ITC will need to change buses for Route 2/Camp Bowie.
*Route 20/ Handley - New route to serve an area of Handley and Bridgewood/ Boca Raton that was previously on Route 2/ E. Lancaster; new service extended to Ramey/Stalcup area (Weekday, Sat. & Sun.).
*Route 2 /E. Lancaster and Route 2/ Express - Replaced with the Spur* service.
*Route 68/Arlington - Discontinued (Weekday).
*Route 4/ East Rosedale and Route 24/ Berry St. - Minor time adjustments (Sun.).
*Route 14/ Riverside - Add service to Veterans Affairs facility on Vickery at New York (Weekday).
*Route 17/ Central and Route 32/ Bryant Irvin - Minor time adjustment.
*Express Routes 61/ Normandale, 65/ South Park & Ride and 66 Candelridge/Altamesa - Evening routes will start at the downtown Hyde Park bus stop on 9th Street.
For information on route schedules, visit the-t.com or call 817-215-8600. Printed route schedules will be available beginning Sept. 6.