New presentation for East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor study

Metro recently held workshops to update the community on the status of the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor study — the before-and-after renderings shown above were presented at the workshops. 

The study is evaluating alternatives aimed at improving north-south transit along the Van Nuys Boulevard and San Fernando Road corridors between the Orange Line and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station.

Please take the time to scroll through the presentation (below), which was compiled using information from new conceptual engineering and ridership/cost estimates done as part of the work toward completing the project’s draft environmental study.

Six alternatives are being studied. They are:

•Curb-running bus rapid transit.

•Median-running bus rapid transit.

•Median-running light rail.

•Median-running low-floor train that can be  boarded from street level (i.e. no platforms are needed).

•Transportation Systems Management improvements (i.e. road, intersection and traffic signal improvements).

•The legally-required no-build alternative.

At this time, the project has about $170 million in funding reserved through Metro’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, which includes $68 million from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. As with other Metro projects, this isn’t enough money to cover the cost of any of the four transit alternatives under study (see page 37 of the presentation). Some extra funds will need to be identified from other local, state and/funor federal sources.

While the presentation shows that light rail would offer the quickest trips and is forecast to receive the most boardings, it’s also the most expensive at $2.7 billion owing in part to an underground section along Van Nuys Boulevard and a maintenance yard for light rail vehicles that would be required since this leg wouldn’t be connected to the rest of Metro’s light rail system.

What does all this mean? The Metro Board will eventually have to make a big decision about this project: pursue one of the less costly alternatives that could be funded and built relatively soon or delay the project for a pricier alternative to be built later if and when funding can be identified.

Another issue to keep in mind: the study area for this project also overlaps with the study area for the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor that is evaluating options to improve travel in a corridor between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

That project is still early in the planning stages. Formal environmental planning has not yet begun for this project that has about $1 billion in Measure R funds available. Metro is looking at possible alternatives to deliver this project including the potential of a public private partnershipThe two project study teams are consulting with one another for an obvious reason: the projects need to consider how they might link in the San Fernando Valley.

Meanwhile, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project is focused on Van Nuys Boulevard from the Orange Line north because that’s where the largest concentration of transit riders are located. This part of Van Nuys Boulevard is also where buses are slowest and experience the most delays.


13 replies

  1. I will say that the combination of both BRT and Transportation Systems Management improvements should be considered. If the BRT travels on San Fernando Road, will it connect to the future Orange Line East extension that will go to Burbank Airport? Will this corridor connect to the future Line 788?

  2. Metro, build the LTR It has the highest ridership in the study and in the future, possible build out and connection to Orange Line too if that becomes LTR. it might cost the most but it will pay off later when expation is on the table. Just like the Gold Line.

  3. Forget light rail for now! Hold off on the bus! What about extending the subway up to Victory Blvd., or Sherman Way, installing a wye (for a heavy rail Burbank Airport connection), taking the western leg of that wye along these two streets to Van Nuys Blvd where you can possibly bring the line elevated all the way to a terminal at Foothill Blvd?
    What about the Sepulveda Pass Project? This line, which will be a branch off of the Purple Line, can also serve as a viable connection.This way, no new maintenance facilities have to be built. With light rail or the tram, space must be acquired for a maintenance facility, adding to the cost and the project schedule.
    As far as the bus is concerned, just hire more drivers. The buses are already here, and we need no more. Just keep the buses that are already running in operation, and extend their schedules so that there’ll be no more of this stopping services at 7pm on weekdays,and no services on the weekend crap! With the addition and expansion of rail in the San Fernando Valley, the preexisting bus service WILL function the way it’s supposed to, serving people 24/7/365!!

    • “As far as the bus is concerned, just hire more drivers.”

      And pray tell, please tell me where the money is going to come from to hire more bus drivers? Metro doesn’t post any profit and it has one of the lowest farebox recovery ratios in the world. So where is the money going to come from? More taxes? Higher fares? Money has to come from somewhere to pay the additional bus drivers, because you know, people don’t work for free?

  4. Please don’t rule out BRT equipment that allows both-side boarding. While some standardization of Metro’s fleet can be beneficial, BRT should be considered a different transit mode than local buses and should be equipped accordingly. Purchasing only local bus equipment for a BRT line limits Metro’s ability to have a variety of BRT station designs and creates unnecessarily limits how the BRT system can grow.

  5. Meanwhile, right across the Pacific:

    A jaw-dropping time-lapse construction video of converting an above grade station into a subway in less than 3.5 hours using 1200 construction workers between the time the last train just past midnight and the first train right before 5AM:

    While we wait for years to get stuff done, the Japanese gets it done in 3.5 hours.

    • Sure, the Japanese get it done in 3.5 hours…Good for them! Now let’s discuss the QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP! I’ve noticed that when certain Asian nations do something, it impresses the world until something terribly wrong is discovered, and they end up right back at SQUARE ONE!

      • If you’re questioning quality of workmanship of the Japanese construction, then you got to provide lots of facts to back up your claims that they don’t know what they are doing, especially with regards to their mass transit infrastructure. Somehow I doubt a country whose mass transit system that can still keep on running after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake doesn’t know what they are doing.

      • I’m Chinese (Hong Konger), but even I have to say no one in Asia can do stuff like this except for the Japanese. They are on a league on their own that not Chinese, not Koreans, not Germans, not Americans, no one in the world can accomplish this feat. And yes, they do it with the greatest precision and quality of work that I’d wager this is completely safe.

        If this was China or Korea or any other country, I’d say this is unsafe and something will go wrong later. But knowing this is Japan, a country that’s full of every natural disaster from typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, they have all the bases covered.

        Did you know that Hong Kong’s transit system fare card, the Octopus Card, is actually Japanese technology? It’s based off of Sony’s Felica system. Even Hong Kong’s mass transit system is dependent on Japanese technology.

    • I guess they didn’t have to worry about “workmen comp issue” like they seem to be worried about here. Why did it take about six times as long to build the Blue Line over the same right of way that it took for the Pacific Electric to build in six months from L. A. to Long Beach?.