As some of you already know, Metro’s Service Councils this month are holding public hearings on proposed bus service changes to take effect in June.
The above staff report details all the changes, including maps of proposed bus routes.
Perhaps the most interesting changes proposed involve bus routes in the San Fernando Valley, including:
•The creation of a new 588 bus that would operate at peak hours that would run between Westwood and Nordhoff Street, mostly along the 405 freeway and Van Nuys Boulevard. This new line still requires funding.
•Extending the 734 Rapid Bus to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard, thereby creating a bus line that would run from Sylmar to Westwood.
•Combining the 741 and 761 Rapid Bus lines to create a U-shaped Rapid Bus line in the Valley that would run between
Of course, better connecting the Valley and the Los Angeles basin has long been a challenge for mass transit in Los Angeles County, owing to the barrier that is the Santa Monica Mountains. The Red Line does run between North Hollywood and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, but that doesn’t really help connect the Valley to the Westside.
Metrolink also offers two commuter rail lines between the Valley and downtown L.A., but that has two sets of challenges: 1) expense and frequency of service, and; 2) also no service to the Westside.
One of the projects designated for Measure R funding is the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, which aims to connect the Valley and Westside, with a study area that runs from Sylmar all the way to Los Angeles International Airport. A rail tunnel is among the options identified during early studies although that will need more than the $1 billion supplied by Measure R. Also being considered is a public-private partnership to supply more funding.
In the meantime, Metro is trying to find the best way to connect the Valley to the Westside via bus service. The 588 proposal is interesting because it would take advantage of the new northbound HOV lane that is being built on the 405 as part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project that is scheduled for completion this summer. Metro’s current 761 Rapid Bus doesn’t use the freeway — it only runs along Sepulveda Boulevard.
The SFV Service Council held a public hearing to receive public comments on these proposed bus service modifications last Wednesday, as well as a hearing at the Metro Gateway Building on Saturday.
A total of 26 people provided comments. There will be three more public hearings held this week; tonight at the San Gabriel Valley Service Council in El Monte at 6 p.m., Westside/Central in Beverly Hills at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 12) and Gateway Cities in Huntington Park at 6 p.m on Thursday (Feb. 13). More on meeting locations here.
Please check the metro.net for details on the location and public transit options. Interested persons can also provide their comments on these proposed changes thru Friday, February 14 via Metro Customer Relations. The Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to consider the changes later this spring.