Here's the map and highlights for new 788 Valley-Westside Express Bus

Line 788 Key Points

Line 788 Key Points2


As was reported yesterday on Board Member Zev Yaroslavsky’s website, the new 788 Valley-Westside Express Bus will begin service on Dec. 15. The bus will use the HOV lanes on the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass (as you likely know, the northbound HOV lane was recently built and opened this year as part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project).

The above PowerPoint slides show some highlights of the service and the route. For those wondering about the dip down to Oxnard Street in the San Fernando Valley, the reason is that it allows the new 788 to stop at two key Orange Line stations — Van Nuys and Sepulveda. It also makes it easier for the 788 to get on the 405 freeway and make its way over to the HOV lanes.

52 replies

  1. I question how diffcult it will be to manouver into and out of the HOV lanes through bumper to bumper traffic with I’m guessing a 40 foot bus. If it’s a articulated that’s 60 feet to move over five or six lanes to enter and exit the HOV lanes.

  2. If the map is correct, eight stops in the Valley in addition to the northern terminus and the Orange Line connections is a lot. Would Metro be open to looking at boarding/deboarding data down the road (no pun intended) to consider trimming 3 or 4 of the Valley stops and adding one at Getty Center? Plenty of Valley people also work there, in addition to museum visitors.

    • Hi Gregory;

      Way too early to guess what will happen in the future, but Metro does look at ridership data for bus lines and makes subsequent adjustments.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Why a bus and not a light rail system that might be quicker? ….Perhaps one that will also go into Century City’s busy business center area, too? I wonder if Westfield would be happy about that (financial investor perhaps?) because you’ll be helping valley folk to their Century City mall, too.

  4. That’s too many stops for 1 bus. What’s the point of calling it an express if the time it takes to drive ourselves to our destination is the same time when taking the bus? I think it’s best to split the stops into 2 groups and have the buses start leaving at the same time. The time that they will go over the hill will be shorter and quicker.

  5. This bus (really, a public automobile) is just an interim solution until the planned rail line (hopefully branching off of the Purple Line near Sepulveda and paralleling the 405 directly into the San Fernando Valley), comes into existence, thus improving mobility for thousands, if not millions, of Southland residents.

    There has been mention of running this 788 line on the Orange Line busway; not a good idea, since the Orange Line will soon be converted to rail operation in the years to come.

    • Hi Craig;

      I think “soon” is a generous description. That’s an expensive proposition — we don’t even know how much that would cost yet — and there’s no present funding source. In addition, there’s also another major Valley-related project, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, that needs to be fully funded.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Daniel;

      Line 788 will be an additional service to Westwood. Line 761 will be rerouted and combined with Line 741 to form the ‘Valley U’ route that Metro has studied in the past. Line 734 will be replacing the segment from Ventura Boulevard to Westwood that was previously covered by the 761. I’ll have a post on this soon with maps that help explain it better.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. Why doesn’t the 788 serve UCLA directly via Sunset? This would make much more sense than the present routing, which has the 788 getting onto and off the 405 at Wilshire. UCLA needs to be served DIRECTLY and NOT via Wilshire. To serve UCLA properly, the 788 MUST enter and leave the 405 freeway via Sunset and NOT via Wilshire. If the 788 is to be most successful, it MUST use Sunset. This is to ensure that the most people, including students, from UCLA use this new line. Additionally, there will be little backtracking as the route will be more of a strait line. It will still be able to lay-over at the Federal Building and future extentions, to the Expo Line at Sepelveda & Pico will be much easier to impliment.

  7. Looking at Yaroslavsky’s press release, it mentions Woodland Hills but I don’t see Woodland Hills on either of the maps here.

  8. Why does it use the two parallel streets rather than running in the busway for that segment?

    • Because you can’t make left turns on or off the busway. It’s also why it makes that weird move to get on at Victory – so it can get on the carpool lane north of the 101.

    • Hi Keaswaran;

      The short answer: Using Oxnard Street allows it to make all necessary stops on Sepulveda Boulevard.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Metro’s original idea for the upcoming East San Fernando Rapidway improvement project under Measure R had the bus going along Van Nuys Blvd and then building another exclusive busway paralleling the Orange Line busway to reach Sepulveda Blvd. I was puzzled by this. Why not just use the Orange Line busway? It seems that Metro does not want anything other than Orange Line route buses to run on the Orange Line dedicated busway.

  9. I’m a Sherman Oaks resident who’s been riding the Van Nuys Blvd to Westwood line in its various incarnations since the 1980s. Neither the 788 nor the 734 extension are of any use to me whatsoever. Come December I’ll be going back to driving. Thanks for nothing, MTA. I’ll remember you at the ballot box.

    • It’s of no good use to me, but at least I’ll explain why. I have no business that will take me from Westwood to the Valley. My sister is interested in service from the South Bay to the West Valley that doesn’t require a slingshot around downtown.

      • Your reply is a non sequitur. I spoke of the route I’ve been using daily for decades being elimated and replaced by alternatives I can’t use. Your reply indicates you never need to travel the route at all, then you toss in your sister’s wish list for another city; both irrelevant.

    • Thanks for helping to make LA a better place to live by flat out rejecting anything that doesn’t personally serve YOU and YOUR daily route that you’ve chosen. So your solution to everything is to just reject Metro funding and screw everyone else because Metro refuses to provide you with a private shuttle that takes you from your home directly to your work? Gee, thanks! If everyone had your mentality, nothing would ever get built in our city and we’d be stuck in polluted traffic 24/7 without an ALTERNATIVE. Hopefully the rest of LA is smart enough to realize the great benefits of investment in infrastructure, including transportation.

  10. Wouldn’t 588 be more accurate than 788 because the 5- prefix denotes an express route, while the 7- prefix denotes a Rapid route? I recall that it was initially going to be the 588, so I was curious as to why it was changed.

    • Eamon has a point. While it looks like the 788 does run Rapid-style in the Valley, its very limited hours of operation seem to devalue the simple-schedule concept of the Rapids. Since this line seems to be in place only to serve rush-hour commuters, perhaps classifying it as the 588 would make more sense.

    • If there is no express fare charged then the number 788 is appropriate. Past implementation of express charges where none existed previously ran into civil rights issues, which MTA is very sensitive about after the Bus Riders Union consent decree. In any case the whole express fare thing gets phased out in a couple more fare increases anyway.

      I would like to see it run all day, though, and the “Valley U” implemented, which is supposed to happen simultaneous to this.

    • Hi Eamon;

      Line 788 will make only rapid bus stops on Van Nuys Boulevard while also operating on the freeway.Rather than creating a new bus service type numbering system for hybrid type bus lines the 700 rapid numbering series was used.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Nearly all of the “Rapid” Lines have limited hours of service. Frequent all-day, evening and weekend service ? Are you kidding ? Same route as the locals with different terminals to confuse riders. Most of them are just “Limiteds” with red paint. What a scam.

  11. What would be the estimate of time arrival to Westside exit, if I was to take the bus from Van Nuys + Nordhoff?

    • Hi Jim;

      About 60 minutes, although it will depend (obviously) on traffic.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi B. Kuo;

      The 788 will stop at all rapid bus stops along its route, including the Van Nuys Metrolink Station stop at Keswick Street.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  12. Ok so if you live in the north valley you have 12 stops before you get home. Express? Hardly!

    Metro and LADOT need to realize that the Valley is a big place. Folks in the north valley are not well served by express busses (788, 574) that make stops in encino.

    • Try living in the Northwest Valley. In my younger days, I would ride the 419 and 418/721 to get Downtown.. 419 made more stops than this did and it was still pretty fast. In some ways, so was the 418/721. Hopefully, they are going to make this route restriction so there’s no local riding in the SFV (and hopefully people will be educated that the 788 runs board only on southbound trips if that is the case…)

    • Hi Chris;

      When the Expo Phase 2 is completed and in operation, Line 788 will be extended to the Sepulveda Expo Station. There are no current plans to extend this line to LAX, which is already connected to both the Valley and Westwood via the quicker FlyAway bus.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  13. Bit of a long walk from the Orange Line Sepulveda parking lot to the east side of Sepulveda Boulevard. Probably over 100 yards depending on where in the lot you park. Anyway, that lot has always been under-utilized and this will be an excellent opportunity to see if it can be filled up. Lots of advertising about this line in and around the UCLA campus will be key!

    • I hope they could someday rework Sepulveda Station to allow buses to enter and layover in there. 234/734 can operate in there and the 156 could lay over there. They really need to give that station more usefulness.

  14. Since it starts with a 7, does that mean it’s a rapid route rather than an express route, so no freeway surcharge needed?

    • Hi John;

      Good question. I’ll try to get answer soon. I think it is a regular Rapid route, but not 100 percent sure.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • John:

      The 788 will require only the regular $1.75 fare. No freeway surcharge.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • My guess is to maintain the “non-stop” experience to UCLA but also a better place to lay-over at the end of the line. Looks like the 788 is going to share the same layover with the 761. Just because of the layover issue, it makes perfect sense to route it the way they did.

    • Hi dmalcomcarson;

      It gives more time for the bus to merge over to carpool lanes before the SB 405 freeway begins to get backed up.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  15. Once this proves its merit, then maybe a return to the 88 of old to either the LAX City Bus Center and/or Aviation Green Line. Not to take away anything from CCB Rapid 6, but anything to help the 405 south of Westwood would be highly appreciated.

    • Zev’s website says the line will be extended to Expo Line Sepulveda Station (@ Pico Blvd) when it opens.

  16. If the Sepulveda Orange Line parking lot gets full, will Metro get the car dealership out of the Metro owned parking spaces at the Van Nuys Orange Line station, or did Metro enter into a long term contract with them?

    The combined two thousand total parking spaces at the Sepulveda and Van Nuys Orange Line stations and the fairly direct route to UCLA could potentially make Line 788 very popular with some people that typically drive the Sepulveda pass.

    Having line 788 travel down Van Nuys Blvd from Panorama City will bring more transit service to Van Nuys Blvd, but I expect most of these riders not wanting to go any further than the Orange Line station.

    • Hi Dennis —

      Good question and I’ll ask. On my most recent visit to the station — last month — there were still many parking spots open in the lot.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • If I remember correctly, the 788 is going to have passenger restrictions on it. Southbound board only in SFV and discharge only on the Westside/Northbound board only on Westside and discharge only in SFV. My thoughts is that it is operating to Plummer to get as many transfer opportunities from the east/west grid routes.

    • Hi Dennis:

      Metro says it hopes it can fill the existing spaces available with new 788 customers. If so, the agency would evaluate what could be done to create more parking.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  17. Thank you Kimberly Richards for making this route happen. She made the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor bus option a reality. Ms Richard’s showed that the Valley didn’t need to spend tens of billions of dollars and wait decades for bus routes. ( The Valley has lost a passioante advocate and shame on Mayor Garcetti for removing her from our representation.

  18. I do like that the line number 788 was used. It’s a tribute to the original San Diego Freeway Express Line number 88 and is a legacy left by the leadership of Kymberleigh Richards on the SFV Service Council and a nod to those of us who care about the history of this great system.