ORBT is Omaha Rapid Bus Transit, a new service from Metro that will unite smart technology and streamlined travel for faster, more frequent public transportation. Enhanced stations, spacious vehicles, and travel upgrades will connect more people, more frequently.
ORBT is the biggest transit investment the region has seen in decades. It will make Omaha more competitive with other metropolitan areas by attracting talented employees and innovative businesses. It will increase mobility, save money, boost development, reduce emissions, and connect the region.
It’s a strong step toward the transportation that Omaha wants and needs, as we’ve heard around the region.
It’s stellar transit. And it’s really out there.
How We Got Here
Public input has been integral to the project and has influenced station design, vehicle layout, and the ORBT brand. We got feedback from mobile workshops, public meetings, open houses, community conversations, organizational partnerships, online forms, space transmissions, and many other methods to help us make decisions. Participation from a stakeholder group has also informed the decision-making process.
SYSTEM: In May 2014, Metro partnered with the City of Omaha and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) to conduct the Central Omaha Transit Alternatives Analysis. Public input helped us determine that bus rapid transit would help better connect the region.
STATIONS: In the fall of 2015, Metro held open houses to provide an update on the project and to reveal three preliminary station concepts. We collected feedback at the open house and through a variety of surveys. You can see the materials from the open house here.
VEHICLES: In the summer of 2016, more open houses showcased modified station designs and discussed vehicle layouts and amenities. We gathered input at the open house and through surveys. You can see the materials from the open house here.
BRAND: Throughout the project, Metro took suggestions for names, which informed the final brand. ORBT was a local suggestion, and the brand features were inspired by values offered by the public.
In 2014, Metro was awarded a highly competitive TIGER grant for $14.9 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund this project, covering about half the cost of ORBT. We contributed some of our own money and pulled in generous contributions from private entities. These organizations include:
- The Peter Kiewit Foundation
- The Sherwood Foundation
- Mutual of Omaha
- Nebraska Environmental Trust
- Metropolitan Utilities District
These, as well as in-kind contributions from the City of Omaha, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), and Heartland B-cycle, are helping ORBT launch.