Upcoming public meetings to discuss East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project to improve north-south travel

BRT Alignment

Bus Rapid Transit Alternative


LRT Alignment

Light Rail Transit Alternative


Working with the cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando, Metro is studying north-sound transit improvements in the San Fernando Valley, mostly along Van Nuys Boulevard. Among the options being studied are bus rapid transit and light rail (all four of the alternatives are below). Here’s a recent post on the Alternatives Analysis study for the project; maps of the bus rapid transit and light rail options under study are above.

The draft environmental study for the project — officially known as the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor — is just beginning. There are four meetings to give the public a chance to learn more about the project and provide feedback. 

The public can leave official comments on the project via email, the project’s Twitter feed (use the hashtag #ESFVscoping) or on this form on the project’s Facebook page. Metro is trying to make it easier for people to officially comment on projects and it’s good to see social media now part of that effort.

This scoping period is the time when the public tells Metro what’s most important for them about this project and which questions they most want the study to answer. Comments will be accepted until May 6.

The format and information provided at each public meeting will be identical. In the first half hour of the meeting, the public is invited to roam around and visit information stations around the room.

Meeting Dates, Locations, and Information

Saturday, March 16, 2013, 10 am-12 pm

Panorama High School
8015 Van Nuys Boulevard
Panorama City, CA 91402
Served by Metro Rapid Line 761 & Metro Local Line 233; DASH Route – Panorama City/Van Nuys

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6-8 pm
The City of San Fernando Regional Pool Facility
208 Park Avenue
San Fernando, CA 91340
Served by Metro Rapid Lines 794 and Metro Local Lines 224 and 234

Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6-8 pm
Arleta High School
14200 Van Nuys Boulevard
Served by Metro Rapid Line 761 and Metro Local Lines 158 and 233

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 4-6 pm
Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center
6262 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91401

Validated Parking available at City Hall Parking Lot (Sylvan/Sylmar Av Entrance)
Served by Metro Orange Line, Metro Rapid Line 761, Metro Local Lines 154, 156, 164, 233 and 237 and DASH Routes Panorama City/Van Nuys and Van Nuys/Studio City

Can’t make it in-person? Then, view and comment via a live-stream of the presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013, or on-demand at:  http://ustream.tv/channel/eastSFV.


The Study is evaluating the following alternatives:

  • No Build: Establishes a baseline for comparison with the other alternatives being evaluated.  It represents conditions predicted for the year 2035 if no new project is constructed. It does incorporate other new projects that are already included in adopted plans
  • Transportation System Management (TSM): Evaluates the benefits of   lower cost operational improvements including enhanced bus frequencies for Van Nuys Rapid Bus 761 or other bus lines, traffic signal synchronization, off-board fare collection, bus stop amenities/improvements, bus schedule restructuring, intersection and road improvements, etc.
  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Similar to the Metro Orange Line, BRT would generally operate in dedicated lanes with some portions operating in mixed-flow traffic.  BRT typically provides higher frequency, speed and reliability when compared to standard Rapid or Local Bus service. The BRT route being evaluated for this project would travel from the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station southeast along San Fernando Road and then south on Van Nuys Boulevard with three possible options for the project’s southern terminus.
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT): Similar to the Metro Gold, Blue, Green, and Expo Lines, LRT operates with standard gauge passenger railcars, on exclusive right-of-way with overhead electric power. A two-car train set can carry approximately 300 passengers. Stations are typically spaced about one mile apart. Under this Alternative, Metro would also need to build a new LRT maintenance facility. The LRT Alternative route would travel from the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station southeast along San Fernando Road and then south on Van Nuys Boulevard to Ventura Boulevard.

20 replies

  1. @Dennis Hindman

    As with most of your figures posted here, you need to re-check your sources (and then come up with another story). The Orange Line extension was originally budgeted at $216M and came in at $180M. That’s a savings of $36M, but that leaves you $64M short of explaining where the extra money currently in the budget for the ESFV line came from .

    Of course, this is really secondary – no interest in playing “gotcha” on poorly researched facts. What would be a more interesting question is how you’d propose to add more frequencies fo the current Orange line in order to handle the introduction of BRT traffic froma Van Nuys Blvd line in your dystopian transit scenario. More importantly, how do any of your BRT notions resolve the fundamental capacity issue through the Sepulveda Pass?

    Yes – funds for LRT are currently lacking. But this is not a permanent state of affairs and can easily change in the future. For example, who is to say that TIFIA and other Federal programs won’t be able to take the place of Measure J to accelerate the Measure R projects? This was Plan A all along, right? With a voting threshold that is almost certain to be lowered to 55%, a future measure to extend the Measure R sales tax could then be dedicated to funding/accelerating projects such as and ESFV/Sepulveda Pass LRT, extension of the Purple line to Santa Monica, extending the Green Line to Torrance, bringing Burbank and Glendale into the Metro network, and others with high ridership projections.

  2. @Mospeada

    The EIR does not include operations. That is why running a BRT on Van Nuys Blvd down the Orange Line busway is not included. Excluding it from the EIR does not mean that would not do this, or that it could not be done.

    The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project under Measure R was never meant to be something that would take a lot of funding. The fact that a LRT is under the EIR for consideration does not mean that Metro can come up with the funding for it. They would need to take hundreds of millions of dollars away from the Sepulveda Pass project in order to build a LRT on Van Nuys Blvd. That’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    I understand when you see a menu of choices on a EIR and they will all have the same ticket prices, that you would want to pick the most expense item on the menu. If the EIR would have included a subway as a alternative, then the majority of the arguments by the public would have probably been that light-rail would be insufficient for the passenger loads, it would be slower and that they need a subway.

    Metro only has enough money for a hamburger and fries. They do not have enough money to buy lobster and caviar. Your giving me arguments of why lobster and caviar is needed and I’m trying to convey to you how that is out of the realm of possibility due to insufficient resources.

    My personal opinion is that there should be a subway along the Sepulveda Pass and it should go into the valley much like the Red Line. This would give a direct connection to the Purple Line. That will not happen. Again, that’s due to lack of money.

    Measure R is only a half-cent sales tax, which is not enough money to make all of the transit projects listed rail. That’s why there was only $70 million of Measure R money set-aside for a East San Fernando Valley Transit corridor. It was never meant to be either BRT or LRT, because they did not have enough money for either one. Left over money from the Orange Line extension enabled them to bump it up to $170 million, which is enough to do a BRT project. Again, hamburger and fries level of funding.

  3. @Mospeada

    Your right on. Metro has projected 91,000 boardings for LRT from the Valley to West LA. Metro projections have to be on the conservative side (not politics).

    I believe that it was either the Times or Zev’s website that talked to someone who is currently using a red/green commute from the valley and I fear that IF the Van Nuys and Sepulvada pass rail projects do come to fruition that they will not be properly integrated. They should be one line with the maintenance facility in Sylmar (or close to it) and hopefully extended thru West LA to at least the Green line.

    It’s possible some in West LA would attempt to crush a Sepulveda route BUT traffic is so bad there that they might decide that anything is better than the status quo.

  4. @ dennis

    why do u keep connecting the van nuys project with the red line. the scope of the eir does not call for having brt buses running on the orange line row to the north hollywood station. metro and ladot have agreed to not run buses at a frequency greater than 4 mins which the van nuys project would cause between north hollywood and van nuys if sevice east of van nuys were to remain the same.

    i also believe you are underestimating the value of having the van nuys project connecting directly with the sepulveda pass project as an lrt. having these two projects connect the san fernando valley to the employments center of ucla, westwood, and century city (via the purple line) would seem to me to neccesitate a higher capacity project than what brt would be capable of.

  5. Metro is being disingenuous on the prospects for putting in a LRT either on Van Nuys Blvd or over the Sepulveda Pass.

    Typically, on these transit projects you need to have at least 50% of the costs covered with local funds in order to get enough state and federal funds to cover the remaining costs. For a LRT on Van Nuys Blvd, that would mean that Metro would need to have at least $900 million committed on their part to have any realistic chance of having a LRT. As for constructing it in stages, $170 million isn’t enough–even with matching funds–to build a maintenance facility, buy the trains and construct much more than a mile of track.

    There will not be a lot of transit demand for a LRT that stops on Sepulveda Blvd on the westside of Los Angeles and the people who live in that area would never allow the necessary 2 1/2 lanes for motorized vehicles to be taken away in order to put in a LRT down the middle of the street. If the train goes down the middle of the freeway, passengers will have to get from their LRT stop to a bus stop by walking over freeway lanes as they do on the Gold Line in the Pasadena area.

    There are far more transit users on Van Nuys Blvd that want to get to the Red Line than there are people who would want to travel over the Sepulveda Pass to a final stop on Sepulveda Blvd on the westside. None of the LRT train projects have gotten many people to abandon their cars to take the train to work, they are mainly used by transit dependent people.

    A BRT line down the middle of Van Nuys Blvd could provide faster and more direct connection to the Red Line subway by having a Van Nuys Blvd BRT turn onto the Orange Line busway. This would eliminate the problems of getting off a bus and walking over to another stop and perhaps standing in the rain waiting for the next transit vehicle to complete the trip.

    A LRT down Van Nuys Blvd would not provide a faster connection to the Red Line subway compared to having a BRT down this street. You would have to get off either the Orange Line BRT or the LRT, and walk over to another station, and wait for the next transit vehicle.

  6. This needs to be considered jointly with the Sepulveda Pass project. They must both be passenger rail. If that requires postponing both of them, so be it. It is not worth pouring asphalt and buying buses when they’ll have to be ripped up to put in rail later.

  7. Dig Baby Dig !!! ( and sooner the better than waiting on the 405 parking lot to and from work.) HOT lane 405 pass to pay for the tunnel for rail and/or express bus.

  8. The Van Nuys East SFV Transit improvements should be LRT and not BRT. Why are we even debating building a bus line Building n Light Rail line will be a major investment in the region’s infrastructure and signifanctly reduce travel times. An LRT line will help so many people who have to commute “over the hill” or to LAX. The LRT option may cost more up front but will be able to handle more passengers and offer a smoother ride “under the hill” and onward to LAX. A Light Rail Line could also help redevelop areas of Van Nuys and turn that area around.

  9. I think due to budget, it should be minor bus service improvements at this time. When the Sepulveda pass project gets hammered out, then this corridor will need to be upgraded to work with it as one system. Can’t let the easier project dictate the future plans of the massively more complex one.

  10. This is the big one, the one that can change the car culture in our city. I for one demand rail. If the $170M is not enough for the line, build it up in phases. I sincerely hope to SEE all of you who are posting in favor of rail at the community meetings, and HEAR all of you publicly state your support for the LRT option.

  11. Light Rail, or a Subway from Sylmar to LAX/Green Line. It should be obvious, with stations at all west – west line intersections.

  12. A very limited amount of money that is budgeted for this project under Measure R, and a goal of finishing it by 2016-2018, puts restraints on what can be done. Listing different alternatives under a EIR doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these choices can realistically be completed under these restrictions.

    The first project finished under Measure R was the 4-mile Orange Line BRT extension which had $182 million allocated for this project under Measure R. This included building two bridges.

    The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project has $170.1 million in Measure R funds and the LRT alternative is 11.2 miles long.

    How does this amount of money compare to the funds set-aside for other LRT projects under Measure R?

    The Crenshaw LRT project is 8.5 miles long and there is $1.207 billion in Measure R funds allocated towards it.

    The Exposition Phase II LRT project is 6.6 miles long and it has $925 million in funding set-aside under Measure R.

    The Foothill Goldline Extension is in two phases with a total of 23 miles for this LRT project. The Measure R funds amount to $735 million.

    The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor comes up far short on the amount of Measure R funds needed to complete it as a LRT project when comparing what was allocated for other Measure R LRT projects. Metro would have to find at least 11 times more money than the $170.1 million they have set-aside from Measure R to complete the LRT alternative estimated price of $1.8-$2.3 billion.

    The original amount set-aside under Measure R for this East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project was $68.5, and then it was raised to $170.1 with money left over from the Orange Line BRT extension project. Which makes it rather obvious that the original intention was to make minor upgrades to on-street bus service along corridors in the East San Fernando Valley. Now, there is barely enough money to perhaps bump it up to the $250-$520 million BRT alternative along Van Nuys Blvd.

  13. What the region needs is a light-rail line between Sylmar Metrolink and LAX. The southern end of this corridor is NOT Ventura Blvd. It is LAX.

  14. I believe LRT would be the right way to go.. with an extension from Ventura to LAX along the 405 freeway with possible stops at Getty Center, Wilshire Bl. (VA Hospital, UCLA and Federal Bldg.), Culver City Transit / Fox Hills Mall, possibly Manchester and direct to LAX.. integrate it with a possible connection to the Green Line which should go into L.A.X. so that the rail cars can go to the same maintenance facility that the Green Line cars go to.. that should be somewhat of a cost savings there.. Get the big picture and connect it all.

  15. Very important that people make a presence and express their opinion at these meetings. Certain Metro officials have referred to the project as the “East Valley BRT” and the City of LA’s DOT wrote some misleading (factually false) opinions in support of BRT.

    The positive support at the AA meetings (alternative analysis, not to be confused with the 12 steps) helped produce a report which was surprisingly unbiased. So overwhelming public support at these new meetings seems to be the only thing that will make this project rail. If this thing becomes a bus route, then those buses will continue over the 405 and that will be the end of any hope of getting a mass transit alternative to the most congested road in America.