One of the Measure R projects that has received fairly little attention is the West Santa Ana Branch corridor. It’s an old Pacific Electric right-of-way that runs for 20 miles between Paramount and Santa Ana that is owned by Metro in Los Angeles County and OCTA in Orange County. The corridor cuts through 23 cities along its route.
As noted this week in the Garden Grove Journal, a study of the corridor has been launched by the Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG). SCAG has a nice website on the alternatives analysis (AA) study. Excerpt:
The AA will examine options for connecting to the Metro Blue Line, Metro Green Line, and Los Angeles Union Station on the north end, and to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center on the south end. Though alternatives will generally follow the PE ROW / West Santa Ana Branch corridor, potential alignment and improvement options outside the right-of-way may be studied. The AA will evaluate a broad range of alternatives, including bus rapid transit (BRT) with dedicated bus lanes, light rail transit (LRT), commuter rail, and high speed rail, along with “no-build” and Transportation Systems Management improvements.
At the conclusion of the AA, SCAG staff will recommend a course of action to the Regional Council, as well as to Metro and OCTA. As the owners of the right-of-way and the implementing agencies, Metro and OCTA will have the option to proceed with the project into the environmental and engineering phases consistent with federal and state requirements.
I think the most intriguing part of the above is a potential Green Line connection. As many of you know, the Green Line ends at the 105/605 junction — meaning it fails to connect to Metrolink’s Norwalk station. If a connection existed, Metrolink passengers could easily travel west on the Green Line. Instead they have to take a bus shuttle to the Green Line and attentive readers all know that More Transfers = Major Time Munch.
It should also be noted that the project is on the list to be accelerated under the 30/10 Initiative. Under Measure R, the project is due to receive $240 million.