Metro receives unsolicited proposal for Vermont bus rapid transit project

Metro has received an unsolicited proposal from AECOM and John Laing to bring advanced mobility technologies and next generation bus rapid transit to the Vermont Avenue Transit Corridor through a public-private partnership (P3).

Additionally, the proposal could result in early delivery of this critical Measure M project. This is the first proposal Metro has received for this Measure M project and the 11th proposing an alternative delivery method for a major capital project.

Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI) is now in the process of assembling a phase 1 review team to evaluate the concept on its financial and technical merit.

The review team will reach a decision on whether to advance the proposal to ta more detailed financial and technical review, decline further review or proceed directly to a competitive solicitation.

The Vermont corridor extends approximately 12.5 miles from Hollywood Boulevard south to 120th Street. It is the second busiest bus corridor in Los Angeles County, behind Wilshire Boulevard, with more than 40,000 weekday boardings. In addition to being one of the busiest corridors in the region, there also are approximately 150,775 people who reside in the project’s study area, which includes one-half mile on either side of Vermont Avenue.

The Vermont Avenue Transit Corridor project would help to improve transit travel speeds, relieve crowding on current service and improve on-time performance, in addition to increasing connectivity to other Metro services, including the Red and Purple Line subway, Green Line and Expo Line.

The project is planned to receive $25 million from Measure M and $400 million from other sources. Under the Measure M spending plan, the project is scheduled to break ground in 2024 and be completed between 2028 and 2030.

14 replies

      • Actually, with the potential ridership and existing subway from Hollywood to Wilshire Blvds, heavy rail on Vermont makes more sense than light rail. It can be built in stages.

        First, from Wilshire to Expo. 2nd phase to Green Line. Phase 3, south of Green elevated to save $.

  1. Are bus boardings also high between Wilshire and Hollywood, where Vermont overlaps with the Red Line? I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s so much demand that it makes these redundancies absolutely necessary.

    • As a long time Vermont rider I can tell you that most locals prefer the bus because of it’s convenience and frequency. I think the subway does little to affect local travel on Vermont albeit it’s nothing like the chaos that was before the arrival of the Red Line, man it was a free for all.

  2. Cool, but this 100% needs to be a subway. It’s already a high density, highly transit-dependent corridor. The fact that there isn’t a subway being planned here is more a virtue of the (understandable) lack of organization on the part of economically-strained residents and the parallel failure of council members along the route to step in on behalf of their constituents and secure funding (the opposite of, say, the Gold Line extension). Install better bus infrastructure, absolutely, but this is a prime subway route.

    See:
    https://urbanize.la/post/why-vermont-brt-line-should-be-rail

  3. it’s a subway or bust! Anything else would simply be a waste of time. Don’t drop the ball on this one Metro. This would be the best investment since the purple line extension, and I say that before it’s completion that’s how badly these projects are overdue.

    • Why is everyone on here assuming that only a Busway is going to be built? Under Measure M, busway is short term while Heavy Rail is long term.

  4. A subway would be nice, and eventually will happen, but the supplementary alternative is a bus way. I’m not a huge fan of bus ways/bus lanes, but I am a fan of mobility, and this is going to help. Vermont North of Wilshire has pretty good subway service, and if you are a keen rider, you can use the combination of the 204/754 and the Red Line proper.

    Personally, I’ve always imagined a subway going down Vermont to AT LEAST EXPO (Ive said it before). Its the perfect tie in for an increasing DTLA zone that pretty much ends at or about Expo Blvd or MLK; however also digging a bit further north into Los Feliz to the foot of the hill at the observatory too. Heck, even Franklin would be a major improvement, but again, this would not open for 30 to 50 years at the pace Los Angeles moves with EIRs and community input (backlash).

    New Stations in mind: Franklin Ave/ Vermont; Olympic/Vermont (optional); Pico/Vermont/Venice (Same size as Pershing Sq Station); Washington/Vermont (optional); Adams/Vermont; Expo Transfer Station. In theory this could be its own subway line.

    Looking at this potential subway line puts things into perspective considering its extension from Wilshire/Vermont is about a mile shorter (not including Franklin North) in distance compared to the extension from Wilshire Western to La Cienega. I’ve surveyed this for fun, and its an ideal project, however when you take into account the length of Vermont Blvd in L.A., a bus way will serve more and therefore be a more effective solution since it MUST go deeper into South than the Expo Line. Slauson at first at least, and then the Green line would be the best way.

    A bus way is not very sexy, but it will be more effective than the situation now. Also, the subway will eventually come; logically it has to, but in our lifetime is the question.

    Once you can accept those “facts” its an easier pill to swallow.

    • Your stations south of Wilshire are all valuable. I doubt there would be a northern stub to Franklin. It’s more likely the Red and Purple no longer share track to LAUS. Red goes from Orange Line to Green Line. Purple from West LA (hopefully one day Santa Monica) to LAUS (eventually Arts District). This makes Wilshire/Vermont a key transit hub.

  5. An elevated system can give the grade separation advantages and capacity advantages of a subway without as much expense as digging.

    • True, but in reality, north of Gage, there’s no space for elevated track. The logistics of the Green Line transfer at the 105 would also present challenges.

  6. Are there any details about this unsolicited proposal? Just simply saying someone made a proposal doesn’t really help us understand it.