UPDATE: The Board approved the new route.
The Metro Board next Thursday will consider approving funding for a new 180-day pilot program to add a North Hollywood to Pasadena bus route — a route that connects the Orange and Red Line to the Gold Line. The line will also serve the Burbank media district and the north part of downtonw Glendale.
The new bus line, to be known as the NoHo-Pasadena Express (the number will be 501), will have six stops: NoHo, 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 Station and Del Mar Station in Pasadena.
The plans are for the NoHo-Pasadena Express to run every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours and every 30 minutes during weekday off-peak times and every 30 minutes on the weekends. Travel time between NoHo and Del Mar in Pasadena is expected to be about 55 minutes during peak traffic times.
If the Board approves the pilot route at its meeting next Thursday (Oct. 22), the new bus line would start the same day as the Gold Line Foothill Extension opens next year. The Foothill opening date will — quite conveniently — also be announced at the same Board meeting. UPDATE: the service will begin in late February.
This is a bus line that Supervisor and Metro Board Member Michael D. Antonovich has been pushing for quite some time now. As he has pointed out, transit between the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley has often been in short supply with most routes pointed toward downtown L.A. instead of connecting the big job centers in both valleys.
The full Metro staff report is here on the No-Pasadena Express. Concurrently, a longer term study is underway to convert this pilot bus line to a bus rapid transit service, meaning in the future it could have more features typical of BRT such as dedicated bus lanes.