Omaha Metro is seeking public contributions to improve public transportation through the MetroNEXT program

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – The coronavirus changed a lot of things, and the metro bus system was no exception.

Although Metro has had some negative effects, such as: For example, if there is a 40% drop in drivers, Metro is trying to make some positive changes soon.

“Omaha is growing, it’s changing. COVID has certainly changed the way people move around the city, what their mobility needs are. We use this as an opportunity to really think strategically and holistically about where we are as an agency and where we need to go, “said Lauren Cencic, the CEO of Omaha Metro Transit.

The number of people using public transportation may have decreased, but the bus system remains vital in our community.

“Even in a global pandemic, people still really rely on our service. We still run over 7,000 trips a day through our system,” said Cencic.

For the next year, Metro wants to hear from you, the community, and those who ride the bus to improve the bus travel experience in Omaha.

“We want to hear from the community. We’re starting with a series of virtual public meetings in March. We are having virtual public meetings on March 25th, 27th and 30th. This really is just the beginning,” said Cencic.

From signage to benches to accommodations and peak hours, all of these aspects will be incorporated into discussions with the community about improvements.

“We will be looking into the possibility of additional ORBT lines and where they could be across the city,” said Cencic.

Improvements can only be made with public input.

“It is clear that people want improved public transport, be it for fairer access to jobs or education, or simply because they want a lifestyle option. Public transport is key to unlocking the economic potential of our region in the 21st century Century, “said Stephen Osberg, director of transportation development for the Greater Omaha Chamber.

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