I might as well say the obvious here. Who is the dufus that decided the buses would need to be so big! Why not start with little baby buses first and then move to bigger buses if you need them ........which you never will! Thanks Mayor Stothert for lying to the taxpayers about repealing the restaurant tax so the city would have money for craptastic projects like this.
Metro is a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska with their own totally separate operating budget and funding stream apart from the City budget -- money spent on buses couldn't be spent instead on fixing roads (or giving a tax cut), for example. They're different entities. The mayor and City Hall were involved from a planning standpoint since Metro and ORBT use the city's streets to operate, but in terms of funding? Not really. According to the FAQ on their website, nearly half of the funding for the ORBT project ($15m) came from a U.S. Department of Transportation grant, and the rest came from private grants and reallocation of other federal funds already available to Metro.
This is a very cool project and I'm excited to see it become a reality. Believe it or not the bus system in Omaha moves a |expletive| ton of people -- 3.8 million trips in 2016, which rivals Eppley Airfield -- and this should help move even more.