City Council approves West 11th EmX plan

City Council approves West 11th EmX plan »Play Video
EmX training in Springfield, Ore., in advance of a January 2011 opening for the new route (file photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - The EmX bus rapid transit line proposed for West 11th Avenue got a key vote of approval from the Eugene City Council on Wednesday.

The council voted 7-1 to approve the new line.

Councilor George Poling was the lone vote against the line. He wanted the measure to go to a public vote and complained the entire process made him uncomfortable. 

"The process that we have to follow is bad because you have to invest so much time and so much money before you make a final decision. By that time I feel like we are trapped," Poling said.

Many opponents of the project where disappointed by the councils decision.

"I can't see any way that they are going to reduce pollution or reduce traffic congestion," Charles Hibberd said. "How can they if they are going to have 80 buses a day instead of what they have?"

Members of Better Eugene Springfield Transit and representatives from Lane County Transit were all smiles about the decision. 

Now the EmX extension plan's environmental impact study goes to the federal government for approval. 

After that, Lane Transit District will put the finishing touches on the plan.

Officials expect the project to be ready to go out for bid in about 18 months.

This is a developing story. Watch KVAL News and KVAL.com for updates