At the September 7th meeting, the SBCTA Board of Directors took initial steps to move forward with the Tunnel to Ontario International Airport (ONT) project. The Board approved a request to release two Request for Qualifications (RFQ), one for a Design Build (DB) team and a second for a Technology Provider.
SBCTA will review qualifications of DB teams and select two firms to move to a preconstruction phase. During this phase, of approximately nine months, the DB teams will develop their design and cost estimate for construction, transitional operations and maintenance. Once the design and cost estimates are submitted, SBCTA will choose one DB team to move forward to the construction phase.
An RFQ will also be released for technology providers to provide autonomous vehicles and operations for the proposed shuttle service. SBCTA will review statements of qualifications and shortlist a number of technology providers that fit SBCTA’s criteria. As the DB teams develop their designs during the preconstruction phase, they will choose from the shortlisted technology providers and select one for inclusion in their designs.
RFQ’s will be issued in mid-October 2022, and a selection of qualified firms is anticipated in early February 2023. Work has already been progressing on the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance for this project. Environmental approval is anticipated in September 2023.
The ONT Tunnel Project will create a subsurface transit connection between the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink station and ONT terminals. The tunnel will feature a bi-directional system using dual tunnels with passengers, employees, and visitors to ONT transported in rubber tire, zero-emission vehicles on an “on-demand basis”, meaning no fixed schedule, picking up passengers as needed to transport them to ONT or the Metrolink station. ONT is the fastest growing commercial airport in the U.S., with passenger levels exceeding 5 million passengers per year and passenger volume expected to grow to 15 million passengers by 2040.