Metro promotes NoHo to Pasadena Express as good transit option in 134 corridor

Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian, L.A. City Council Member Paul Krekorian Take Ride on Metro’s NoHo to Pasadena Express

Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian and L.A. City Council Member Paul Krekorian – both Metro Board members – took a ride today on the new Metro NoHo to Pasadena Express to greet riders and promote the service, which provides L.A. County commuters with a better way to access major rail and bus lines and key destinations in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The express line conveniently connects the Metro Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood with the Metro Gold Line in Pasadena. It also makes limited stops in Burbank’s Media District and northern downtown Glendale.

Also referred to as Line 501, the NoHo to Pasadena Express is different than other bus lines serving these valleys. It operates seven days a week with high frequency – every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak periods so riders can reliably depend on getting to and from their destinations. Other bus services in this corridor only run during weekday peak periods and do not operate on weekends.

The express bus utilizes the carpool lanes on the 134 freeway, which can save commuters time, particularly during off-peak hours. Travel times between North Hollywood and Pasadena are expected to be approximately 50 minutes during peak traffic times, but approximately 35 to 40 minutes otherwise. 

“By design, this express bus was created specifically to solve the problem that vexes our multi-modal transit riders. It connects bus, light rail, commuter rail and airport travelers via Bob Hope Airport,” said Ara Najarian, Glendale Mayor and Metro Board Member. “If this line is successful, it could provide the justification we need to consider even greater transit investments in this corridor. I encourage cross-Valley commuters to try the 501 and see for themselves how it can make their transit experience better than ever before.”

Line 501 makes six limited station stops: NoHo Station, Hollywood Way and Olive Avenue in Burbank, Buena Vista Street and Alameda Avenue in Burbank, Goode Avenue and Brand (westbound) and Sanchez and Brand (eastbound in Glendale) and the Gold Line’s Memorial Park and Del Mar Stations in Pasadena. The bus runs from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. Weekend service runs from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. 

“Metro is doing exactly what’s needed by expanding valley-to-valley transit options in smart and efficient ways,” said Paul Krekorian, Metro Board Member and a Los Angeles City Council Member who represents the North Hollywood area. “This new express line will serve thousands of riders in North Hollywood and beyond by providing yet another way to get around the San Fernando Valley and creating a critical connection with rail and bus lines in the San Gabriel Valley.”

The new line also provides convenient connections to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Disney Studios and Embassy Suites by Hilton. These businesses collectively have thousands of employees and can benefit by encouraging workers, customers and patients to utilize the new express service. 

The line will be evaluated as a six-month pilot project that is expected to cost $1.2 million to operate. After six months, Metro will review ridership and determine if the service requires any changes. The line is expected to carry at least 1,750 riders daily. The base fare is $2.50.  Transit riders can use their TAP cards to get two-hour free transfers to other Metro lines.

Other municipal bus operators connecting with the line include the following:

Burbank Bob Hope Airport and Santa Clarita Connections

The Burbank Bus NoHo provides easy weekday connections to the Burbank Bob Hope Airport to Airport Shuttle, located at Bay 6. The airport shuttle operates every 15 to 20 minutes, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the fare is $1 or is free with an EZ Pass. For weekend travel information on connections to the airport, go to

Transfer to Santa Clarita Transit Line 757 on Lankershim Boulevard for a nonstop commute to various destinations in Santa Clarita. Visit for more information on Santa Clarita routes, fares, and current bus schedules.

Downtown Burbank Connections

Take Metro Line 155 or Burbank Bus’ Metrolink/Media District route at the northeast corner of Buena Vista Street and Alameda Avenue to connect to downtown Burbank and other nearby destinations. Burbank Bus’ regular fare is $1 or free with an EZ Pass. For more information about Burbank Bus routes, fare and bus schedules, visit

Glendale Community Connections

Transfer to Metro Line 92 or Glendale Beeline Routes 1, 2 and 11 (peak hours only) on Brand Boulevard, just north of Goode Avenue, to connect to various destinations in Glendale including Glendale Galleria and The Americana at Brand. Beeline regular fare is $1 or free with an EZ Pass. Glendale Beeline accepts interagency transfers from Metro. For more information about Glendale Beeline routes, fare and bus schedules, visit

Local Pasadena Connections

Connections to the Metro Gold Line can be made at Memorial Park and Del Mar Stations. Take Metro Lines 177, 180/181, 256, 260, 267, 686, 687, 762, 780, Foothill Lines 187, 690, and Pasadena Transit Lines 10, 20, 40, 51, and 51 to local destinations throughout Pasadena and beyond. Pasadena Transit regular fare is 75 cents and Foothill Transit fare is $1.25. For more information about Pasadena Transit and Foothill Transit routes, fare and bus schedules, please visit and

11 replies

  1. You forgot to mention the line gets only 500 riders a day! That’s a pathetically low number for a route this length. Even 1,750 is nt enough to justify its expense. And the Valley wants this to become a BRT line! And as a PRIORITY project under Measure R. No wonder the Valley is supporting the measure – they have some of the lowest ridership yet get THREE priority projects under R 2! Meanwhile, bus routes in central LA, with over 20,000 riders a day get no rail or BRT service and have to wait until 2040 or 2050 for any investment.

    • The first month’s boarding estimates are a good start for a brand new service. We didn’t expect mature ridership in the very first month of service. It will take some time for ridership to grow as people experiment with the line and discover new connections. We believe the travel time savings, frequency and reliability of the service will attract additional riders in the coming months.

      Dave Sotero
      Communications Manager, Metro

  2. That’s a nice PR response, but it completely ignores the fact that there are dozens of corridors with much higher, EXISTING (I.e. proven) ridership that are being ignored in R 2 for the sake of apleasing Valley electeds, where 3 projects will be built in the first decade alone. 500 is not a high number even for the first week. Improving service on the most crowded lines would easily surpass 500 additional riders the very first day. But electeds continue to force Metro to spread resources thin, rather than concentrating on routes that are a proven success and have the highest density of riders and demand for more service.
    P.S. that response could literally be given to every single line/route that has low beginning ridership. It’s a copy and paste response.

    • Wait, so correct if I’m wrong but your proposal would be to throw the Valley residents under the bus again and somehow expect R2 to pass without their support??

      If so, okay good luck with that. Don’t get me wrong, I know the Valley shot themselves in the foot in the past, but adding insult to injury isn’t exactly the best plan here either.

      • Hi Dave;

        The SFV would also get an Orange Line upgrade project, the Sepulveda Pass projects and potential light rail on Van Nuys Boulevard in the ballot measure.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

  3. If you live in Glendale, Burbank, the San Fernando Valley, the 501 is using the same 134 freeway that car drivers would use to get to Pasadena. Why should we take a red line to Union Station and then a Gold Line to get back to Pasadena? Why should we take a local bus that is much slower because of all the stops? The Senior rate is $1.35 in commute hours and 95 cents in non-commute hours. I would believe Dave Sotero over the anonymous “Transit Rider” who claims to have facts and figures.

    Thank you Metro, Philip Washington, Metro Board members, Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian, LA City Council Member Paul Krekorian and Jess Talamantes representing Burbank, for providing us with the 501 that now gives us fast and easy access to Pasadena, Old Town Pasadena, Art Night, cultural activities, restaurants, and so much more. It also gives us a fast and easy way to Glendale, its shopping, and the Alex Theatre.

    And, this is only the beginning. It is only a matter of time that non-transit and experienced transit riders discover this new bus system for reaching work and fun things to do. Hurrah for Metro and the 501.

  4. Honestly, I personally think the issue is there isn’t enough stops and WAY TOO many connections. I said this before and I’ll say this again: This bus needs 2 stops in the heart of Downtown Glendale (Broadway and Glendale + Brand and Broadway), in addition to the FWY stop even if it adds a bit of end to end trip time. As of right now, this line is more of a rush hour commuter line that just happens to have weekend service.

    Right now Line 92 is extremely unreliable to the point where I’m better off walking the 3/4 mile to the Galleria and the Americana and still make it there way before a 92 shows up. And transferring to the Beeline well, requires a transfer and that usually Stops running earlier than the 501 stops running.

    I would definitely would see this bus divert to Broadway in Glendale so that Eagle Rock residents can have a 1 transfer ride to the valley and perhaps placing another stop in Burbank wouldn’t hurt either. Like I said, this line has so much potential and it will grow overtime, but let’s face it, it’s initial implementation is giving this line a bit of a bad rep for missing Glendale’s core, and telling Eagle Rock residents they either have to go to Pasadena or Deeper into Glendale just to catch a bus to the Valley.

  5. Why are riders that use buses that use freeways forced to pay extra? Learn from transit-friendly cities that this is a bad policy. Also, why is it such a long way from the 501 Bus Bay to both the Red Line Entrance and the Orange Line? It’s 500 feet to the Red Line, and 750 to the Bus Way Loop.

  6. How come the line costs so much, though? It’s cheaper to take the Red Line to the Gold Line than this bus line.

  7. I took the 501 recently on a Saturday afternoon. 3 people on the bus on the NoHo->Pas and 4 people Pas->NoHo. I used it as my connection between the Gold line and Orange line. Really, that’s what this should be promoted as. It connects the two lines and saves you the trip on the subway.