Metro announces December 15 launch of new “Valley-Westside Express” bus that will use 405 HOV lanes

Metro Board Members and executives held a media event in Van Nuys on Friday morning to announce the start of the brand new “Valley-Westside Express” bus service which officially begins service Monday, December 15, and will provide transit riders with a faster, easier way to travel between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.

The new service will take full advantage of the recently completed network of I-405 carpool lanes that now travel both north and south through the Sepulveda Pass. The new Valley-Westside Express will provide peak hour nonstop service between the Sepulveda Metro Orange Line Station in Van Nuys and Westwood.

Metro riders can save at least 20 minutes of time in each direction compared with current Metro bus service between the Valley and Westwood. Metro’s 45-foot advanced composite buses will provide weekday service approximately every 15 minutes during peak morning and afternoon periods.

Express bus riders will also benefit from an easy transfer to the Orange Line that connects to destinations including Woodland Hills, Chatsworth and North Hollywood. Regular transit fares will apply for the Valley-Westside Express.

Other important points:

•The Valley-Westside Express can be ridden for the cost of a regular Metro fare — there are no express surcharges. Those who pay with a TAP card get two hours of free transfers.

•The Valley-Westside Express will also provide service along Van Nuys Boulevard corridor to and from Arleta, making all Rapid stops along the way.

•The Valley-Westside Express will stop at two Orange Line stations — Van Nuys and Sepulveda. Both stations offer free parking for those who want to park and then ride the new bus service.

•Metro will monitor ridership of the new line and is prepared to add service based on demand.

•Metro also plans to extend the line south from Westwood to the Expo Line’s Sepulveda Station when it opens in 2016 to create even greater transit connections for the West L.A. area.

Here is the timetable and map for the new Valley-Westside Express:

788

7882

The Valley-Westside Express is one of several bus service improvements going into effect in mid-December. All service changes can be found by clicking here.

For example, Metro will combine two Rapid lines into one, improving mobility in the Valley. Metro Rapid 761, which travels between Pacoima and Westwood via Van Nuys Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard, will be combined with Metro Rapid Line 741 that travels between Northridge and Tarzana via Reseda Boulevard for the creation of a new Metro Rapid Line 744.

Click here for the new Line 744 timetable and map

And Metro Rapid 734 will be extended to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard with Metro Local 234 providing weekend, early morning and late night service to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard.

Click here for the new Line 734 timetable and map

In May 2014, Metro and Caltrans officially opened the 10-mile northbound I-405 carpool lane between the I-10 and U.S. 101, completing the entire carpool lane network on the I-405. The new carpool lane can be used by carpools, vanpools and buses that carry more passengers in fewer vehicles through West L.A. and the Sepulveda Pass.

14 replies

  1. This is great, but:

    1. Why’s the color scheme California Poppy (Local) rather than Rapid Red (Rapid) or Business Blue (Express)?

    2. I hope Metro considers making the HOV lanes HOT/ExpressLanes instead, and uses the toll money to increase service and/or support the planning and construction of Sepulveda Pass rail.

  2. Why is the line not in business blue?? Would like to see line 788 extended to LAX and take use of the hov freeway lanes on the i-405 freeway. The possible extension to the expo station should run on the freeway instead. What about the rapid express routes from Long Beach to LAX?????? What ever happened to the proposed line 580 from Pasadena to North Hollywood.

  3. I don’t recall the planning discussions, but the routing in Westwood is not ideal IMO. Whilshire/Westwood-Westwood/Lindbrook are definitely the most used 761 line stops in Westwood, but the route completely misses UCLA, another important destination. This requires a time wasting transfer (and possibly interagency depending on timing).

    CE 573 has a couple of convenient UCLA stops, and I think that if you analyze the ridership patterns, you’ll find there are more alightings at UCLA-adjacent stops than at Wilshire or at Century City.

    I think terminating the line at UCLA Ackerman Loop (temporarily closed, but there are other close layover areas available) or Hilgard Terminal would have been better. The Federal Building has a nice layover zone, but it’s not much of a destination.

    I’m not sure if they’ll be using artics on the 734 now, but I hope they’ll be monitoring the rush hour load factors closely since there is measurably less rapid service into Westwood to accommodate the new route.

  4. I’m not a park and ride fan but it seems like this route lives or dies by the availability of park and ride space in the Valley, no?

  5. When will Metro staff sit down with Metro board members and explain to them the concept of Latent Demand?

    No, this will not remove cars from I-405, but it will provide mobility.

    And how sad it is that no one is willing to give the person who fought to get this route up and runningc credit; Thanks to Kymberly Richards for all her hard work on the Service Council!

  6. it’s a start… though why won’t anyone take is from the valley to Santa Monica? Silicon Beach? This westside commute is a continuing headache – yet a hot spot for so many of us tech workers.