New Metro Rapid bus stops in West Hollywood

As part of the service changes taking effect on Sunday, December 15, two new stops on the 704 Rapid Line on Santa Monica Boulevard. Here is the news release:

Bus riders in West Hollywood get a holiday present as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) adds Metro Rapid service to two bus stops on Santa Monica Boulevard near Plummer Park.

Beginning Sunday, December 15, 2013, Metro Rapid line 704 will stop on westbound Santa Monica Boulevard at North Gardner Street and eastbound Santa Monica at Fuller Avenue. Prior to the change only the Metro 4 line serviced the stops. The Metro 4 line is local service that picks up and drops off at every bus stop, while the 704 Rapid service makes stops about every 3/4 of a mile.

In a recent analysis of service and ridership Metro staff recommended Rapid stops closer to Plummer Park. Currently, the distance from Plummer Park to the nearest Rapid stop is about a half-mile, which is considered too far to walk for many senior citizens who use the park and rely on Metro.

Line 4 local service has an average of 22,663 daily boardings on the route that begins in Downtown Los Angeles and ends in West Los Angeles. The Metro 704 Rapid service has an average of 11,307 daily boardings. Before the change, the nearest Rapid stops were at Santa Monica and Fairfax and Santa Monica and La Brea.

Metro Rapid service is successfully reducing travel times in some of Los Angeles County’s busiest transit corridors. Buses arrive every 3-10 minutes during peak commute times, carry a bus signal priority system that reduces traffic delays at intersections by extending green lights and the distinctive red and silver color scheme makes it easy to identify Metro Rapid stops and buses.

 

 

 

 

12 replies

  1. While I understand the political pressure to establish these stops they do not fallow “Rapid Bus” guidelines. Rapid buses are only supposed to stop and major transfer points except in the CBD. The idea is to rapidly transport passengers along the lines. This only creates a exemption which will in turn destroy the “Rapid Bus” concept.

  2. I don’t agree with Mr. Dunn’s assessment. When you look at the area more closely with Google Map. There are two grocery stores, a shopping center, a tenants’ rights clinics in the area. They are all activity centers. There are precedence in this exemption. Line 770 stops on the corners of Garvey & New, Garvey & Del Mar. Both corners are not transfer points. They are not activities centers either. I believe Metro makes the right decision to add the new Rapid stops.

  3. I’m sure the people who use Plummer Park would appreciate this gesture, but like poster mike dunn said, Rapid Buses are meant to transport passengers to more heavily used destinations and transfer points while Local buses are meant to bring passengers right to the door of not as heavily visited destinations. Having an increasing number of stops on Rapid lines will reduce the benefit of Rapid lines over Local lines. I’m noticing many Rapid lines are now getting stops added in, including one mentioned in an earlier article hear on the Source and a stop on the 770.
    Another thing I would like to point out is that while the goal of the Rapid program was to have frequent buses traveling every 3-10 minutes during peak commute times it appears the program has moved away from this goal. After several rounds of service cuts, the 762 lost Saturday service, and even during peak periods on weekdays, service is still every 25 minutes. At least it has not been outright eliminated like some other Rapid lines.

  4. I agree with the above. If one exception is made in this case it creates a precedent for slowing down the intended purpose of Rapid Lines.

  5. What’s the point of a “rapid” bus when there are more stops? If you’re going to add more stops to “rapid” service, then it becomes totally useless to even use the word “rapid.”

    Besides, “rapid” pretty much varies by street traffic conditions anyway. There is no 100% guarantee that you will get to your destination as fast as the day before.

  6. Sadly, it seems Metro has moved away from the original full Rapid concept of simple lines, simple schedules, and enhanced “stations” instead of plain bus stops. Instead, as the system has expanded its been watered down to be frankly just another numbered bus line (or just a renamed Limited with some intersection priority), with weekend service on only some lines, and the apparent abandonment of the enhanced “station” concept in exchange for just adding 7xx stickers to existing bus stop signs. That said, it’s still a better way to get across large swaths of SoCal not yet served by rail or BRT. Better than taking a Local, anyway.

    What I’d like to see is a resumption of Rapid station enhancements, making all Rapids offer nightly Owl Service, and repositioning the Local buses to become neighborhood circulators focused on providing “last-mile” service to patrons of the Rapids, Ralil, and BRT. The idea would be for Rail, BRT, and Rapids to be the backbone of the Metro system and the Locals would supplement them, not compete with them.

    OK. Rant concluded. 🙂

  7. The above mentioned post indicating additional stops added on the 720 line fell within the guidelines. It was added at Sixth and Central which is within the CBD.

    I’m not familiar with the 770 Line but I believe there is service on Del Mar which would make it a transfer point and fall within the guidelines.

    While some may think Rapids should run 24 hours per day instead of local service on the same street that does not make sense. Local buses may be scheduled to stop at all stops but in fact few are stopped at. In addition running times are reduced at night which makes travel times shorter than what Rapid’s provide during the day..

  8. The Fuller/Gardner stop is a half mile away from either major street. The average stop spacing is still going to be in the 3/4 mile range since there are gaps of more than a mile stop elsewhere in the route (say, Echo Park Ave to Figueroa). The 770 has always had stops at Del Mar and New, since inception June 2008. Adding more stops to Rapid, where there is a cluster of boarding activity also helps even out the distribution between local and rapid ridership.

    My question is why there is a split in spacing – Gardner in one direction and Fuller in the other. There are stops for the local bus in both directions at both Gardner and Fuller and having this split is just going to cause rider confusion. It should be in one place or another.

  9. IVAN
    Get a new google map. There are no super markets in the area anymore, no shopping centers, the one is all boarded up.