Río Hondo Connector BRT
The Rio Hondo Connector is a 2.5-mile limited-access highway currently under construction in San Juan, which will include HOV lanes in both directions for bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The Río Hondo Connector BRT will provide high-speed bus shuttle service between the Tren Urbano (TU) rapid transit station at Bayamón (under construction) and an intermodal transfer facility. The project will also include the construction of a park-and-ride lot at the south end of the Río Hondo Connector (PR-5) in its junction with Avenida Las Cumbres (PR-199).
The project will provide BRT service during Tren Urbano peak and off-peak hours, with a maximum headway of 20 minutes. Demand projections show that more than 90 percent of trips will occur during the peak period. Público service (private transit vans) and carpooling vehicles authorized to use the HOV lane will supplement bus service.
Project Development and Innovations
The Rio Hondo Connector BRT is an important part of the new transit program being implemented in the San Juan Metropolitan Region. The project is being coordinated with the Rio Hondo Expressway extension. Most of the highway design and construction has been completed, and park-and-ride facility design is underway. Two additional sites have been identified as possible future locations for additional intermodal facilities within the San Juan Metropolitan Region (SJMR).
These intermodal stations will be an integral part of the new ATI system. ATI or "Alternativa de Transporte Integrado", is the new initiative that will integrate and coordinate all of San Juan’s transit services. ATI will be the umbrella under which all transit services in the greater San Juan area will be marketed. The ATI concept will give our citizens a sense of smooth transition and coherence as they transfer from one mode of transportation to another. The BRT service will use ATI signage.
The Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) will operate the shuttle services from the stations. Currently, AMA is in the process of procuring eight 30-feet buses for the BRT project. It is anticipated that maintenance for the intermodal facilities will be provided privately. Joint commercial development at the intermodal station is also under consideration. A significant portion of the operating and maintenance cost of the facilities may be covered by revenue from retail leasing.
The BRT system will also make use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies to increase operating speeds. The shuttle services to the Bayamón station will accept TU fare media, and fares and parking fees will be integrated with the TU fare structure. Standard TU ticket vending machines will be used to facilitate the intermodal connection at the metro station.
PRHTA is currently refining the operational details for the Rio Hondo BRT project. Service is expected to commence with the beginning of TU revenue operations in late 2003.
Project Fact Sheet and More Information
For more details about the project, please see the project fact sheet in PDF format (330 KB).
o Tren Urbano web site (in Spanish)
Gabriel A. Rodriguez Fernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Secretary for Planning
Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Department
P.O. Box 41260
San Juan, PR 00940
Phone: 787 723-3760
Fax: 787 724-3750