Final segment of Wilshire bus lane opens


Peak hour bus lanes at Wilshire Blvd. and Curson Ave. (Photo: Steve Hymon / Metro)

The final .9-mile segment of peak hour bus lanes between Federal Avenue and Centinela Avenue along Wilshire Boulevard in West L.A. will open at the start of rush hour Monday morning.

It’s the last segment of the 7.7 miles of peak hour bus lanes that were added to Wilshire Blvd. as part of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and marks the project’s completion. The largest continuous portion of the BRT lanes was opened in April.

Here are details of Monday’s opening from the notice sent out to the community:


  • Wilshire Boulevard between:
    • MacArthur Park (South Parkview Street) to San Vicente Boulevard
    • Western border of Beverly Hills to  Comstock Avenue
    • Selby Avenue to Veteran Avenue
    • I-405 Freeway (Bonsall) to Centinela  Avenue


  • The last .9 miles of bus lanes will open on Wilshire Boulevard between Federal Avenue and Centinela Avenue
  • Curb lanes will be reserved for buses during weekday peak periods
  • Hours of bus lanes:
    • Monday – Friday, 7:00AM – 9:00AM
    • Monday – Friday, 4:00PM – 7:00PM
    • Vehicles may not drive or park in the curb lanes during the above hours
    • Vehicles may enter the bus lanes near intersections to make right turns only
    • Bicyclists are allowed to use the curbside bus lanes
    • Drivers may not cross the solid white lines


What to Expect

  • Be cautious of the buses when using the right-hand curb lane to make right turns
  • Please share the road – bicyclists are permitted to ride in the bus lanes
  • Vehicles will be cited and /or towed if parked or traveling in the bus lanes during the designated hours


And here’s Metro’s press release:

The last segment of peak hour bus lanes on Wilshire Boulevard aimed at reducing bus commuting time in one of L.A. County’s busiest corridors will open at 7 a.m. on Monday, November 16.

The opening of the peak hour bus lanes between Federal Avenue and Centinela Avenue in West L.A. marks the completion of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which created 7.7 miles of peak hour bus lanes and 9.9 miles of miles of street, signal and signage improvements along the active corridor.

“This dedicated bus lane will make a huge difference for the thousands of commuters who rely on public transit to travel along Wilshire Boulevard every day,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas.  “It’s an affirmation of our ongoing commitment to bring residents of L.A. County faster and ever more reliable mobility choices.”

In April, Metro celebrated the grand opening of five miles of peak hour bus lanes along Wilshire Blvd. as part of the same project. In their entirety, the bus lanes span from South Park View Street to San Vicente Boulevard, the western border of Beverly Hills to Comstock Avenue, Selby Avenue to Veteran Avenue, and Bonsall Avenue to Centinela Avenue. During the weekday peak hours of 7 – 9 a.m. and 4 – 7 p.m., only transit buses are allowed in the bus lanes.

The Wilshire BRT project is a $31.5 million transportation improvement project spanning from Valencia Street near MacArthur Park to Centinela Avenue in West L.A. that aims to improve traffic flow and potentially save bus riders as much as 15 minutes in travel time along the heavily used Wilshire corridor.

“This project is an efficient and affordable solution that will provide tangible benefits for our riders,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “It’s a great example of how we can make smart, relatively inexpensive investments that use improvements to our existing infrastructure to save commuters valuable time and provide an appealing alternative to driving.”

Metro operates buses every two minutes on Wilshire Boulevard west of downtown during peak hours. There are  approximately 45,000 daily boardings with 50 percent of them occurring at rush hour. The average peak hour bus commutes from Valencia Street to Centinela Avenue are 62 minutes in the morning and 75 minutes in the afternoon. 

Of the 7.7 total miles of bus lanes, the largest continuous segment is 5.4 miles, running from South Park View Street near MacArthur Park to San Vicente Boulevard. In addition to converting curb lanes to peak hour bus lanes, other project improvements include reconstructing curb lanes along damaged segments of Wilshire Boulevard, new street signage and pavement markings, selective street widening, landscaping near the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center and upgrades to the existing transit signal priority system.

During peak hours, drivers of passenger vehicles and trucks are subject to a citation if driving in the bus only lanes. Cars and trucks turning right during peak hours may use the curbside lane as well as bicyclists. There will be a two-week grace period along the newest segments in West L.A. to give drivers time to adjust to the new lanes.

The project was funded through a federal Very Small Starts (VSS) grant awarded to Metro in August 2011. The grant of $23.3 million was paired with an $8.2 million local match. The project is expected to be completed within budget.

While Metro secured funding and environmental approval, the City of Los Angeles was lead on construction of the project of the segments within their jurisdiction. L.A. County led construction on a segment near the V.A. West Los Angeles Medical Center.

Prior to the project, the only bus lanes in L.A. were along Figueroa Street from Adams Avenue to 7th Street. Metro is currently investigating additional corridors that may benefit from the implementation of BRT service and related improvements.

43 replies

  1. I think vast majority of today’s people will accept the idea of tap in and tap out. It’s not like this is a strange and odd concept that isn’t being done elsewhere. The Millennials are quick to adapt to technology and they are far more better at it than previous generations who can’t even set the clock on the VCR (the VCR flashing 12:00 was an in-joke to technologically challenged adults when I was a kid).

    It’s not like Metro has to do it all at once either. They can start it off as a beta test on Metro Rail first, then slowly move onto the BRT lines and some of the Metro buses. Sooner or later everyone has to get used to it and Metro can’t keep charging people the same fare without some kind of a tiered or variable fare structure based on distance as Metro continues to expand farther and farther out. It’s already non-sensical as it is that a Metro operated rental bike costs $3.50 for 30 minutes which won’t get you far while a long Metro ride from Pasadena to Culver City costs $1.75 across transferring three rail lines.

  2. God, why are Americans are so stupid!?

    No wonder why we have such crappy transit. We have idiots like fine7760 saying that the rest of the world doesn’t know what they’re doing and continue to pretend America can do things better.

    It’d be much easier if we could just sell Metro to the Koreans.

  3. fine7760,

    It’s time to stop being unrealistic and face the reality.

    Whether you like it or not, the movement of the transit world is moving toward contactless payments. It is so in Europe, in Asia, in the rest of the US, as well as in this state and it has been decided upon here in LA.

    You’re not going to change anything. Nothing is set yet, but all the telltale signs are there to point out the very well likelihood of introducing distance based fares on our rail system, perhaps even gradual implementation towards buses, cashless NFC payments using smartphones, and a more data oriented transit model as it has been proven to work in the rest of the world.

    We have spent millions in installing fare gates, we already have Mayor Garcetti saying to Metro to look into payments with smartphones, and Metro recently hired an officer to head the Office of Extraordinary Innovation that is to research what cities from all over the world have done using technology. We have UCLA professors specializing in transit studies speaking at the podium providing the latest in transit research and development talking about distance based fares, we have Metro Board members asking questions about it, which shows that people are writing about it to their elected officials, and more people in LA are using transit who are much more knowledgeable about this stuff than ever before as LA is a place where people all over the world come to live to provide insights and travel all over the world to expand the knowledge. All the signs say we’re heading in that direction.

    You can picket in front of Metro all day long, you can hand out flyers, you can talk at the podium until your minute is up, you can talk about it over and over again, but the reality is that TAP is here to stay and we’re not going back to using cash fareboxes like the 1950s and we’re not going back to a 1950s way of life either.

    Millions of dollars were spent on TAP, yes poorly implemented I agree, but we’ve spent years in bringing 26 transit agencies to use TAP, the investment has been spent, costly, but we’re also not going to waste them by going back to old cash fare boxes which does nothing but collect fares, when TAP also collects valuable data.

    It’s time you accepted that reality. There are things that you are completely powerless to change the momentum of technology, innovation, and science which is getting faster and faster each and everyday.

    You may have had experience as a bus driver. Good for you and thanks for your service.

    But you are retired now and I suggest there are far better things to do with your life like taking a much needed vacation than just bursting veins at how things are changing at Metro in the way you do not like because they are becoming more technological in ways you cannot comprehend. Once you are retired, you do not need to be butting into matters that are now up to the next generation, the Millennials, to make Metro better.

    You can take a rest now. The changing of the guard has taken place and the new generation has taken over.

    • It’s apparent you only read what you want. I never said a better system was not needed. What I did say is the TAP Card is not the answer. Progress is supposed to bring us a more efficient and faster way of doing a task. The TAP Card has seriously failed. It’s slow and returns us to the day when Bus Operators were making change. That was stopped for two reasons. Safety for the Bus and Rail Operators and to speed up the boarding process after conductors were fazed out. All of this before you apparently ever rode a bus or rail. Rail can be converted to TAP On and Tap Off very easily since gates are being put up. I saw that years ago on the BART in San Francisco long before TAP Cards.

      And speaking of gates, the MTA put out many videos hailing the lack of gates and how great the Honor System was a great innovation born in Los Angeles. You see, promotional videos tell the story the agency whether it be the MTA or the agency in Soul, Korea to celebrate their latest idea. That is why I was looking for the good and the bad in real life, not what the agency hopes will happen.

      Under perfect circumstances will the Korean system work here. We do have vandalism. We do experience fare box failure, something you convientely failed to address.

      As you know the MTA is not a nine to five operation but instead a twenty-four hour operation. The only one I know of in Los Angeles County. Let me explain again a scenario which is fallowed at every division. There are not sufficient buses to provide for the daily operation plus the over night (owl service). With that said the A.M. roll out begins about 3:30 A.M. with the last buses to complete the roll out ending about 6:30A.M. using buses being pulled in from the owl assignments. There is an afternoon roll out using buses pulled in from the A.M. trippers( 3 to 4 hour runs). At about 7:00P.M. the owl assignments start pulling out using buses pulled in from the daily regular service. And when the owls pull in we finish the next day roll out. The time between pulling in and pulling out during the roll outs is about 30 minutes. The buses must be fueled, a long process using CNG, vaulted (money removed from the fare box which is taken to the same location that was used when I Operated) and cleaned. Its pretty difficult to hold a bus for a B.O. fare box. Making the roll out on time is primary to almost everything else. It’s so important Managers (Transportation or Maintenance) are held accountable usually the same day as to why they failed to make roll out on time. There is an old story that Division One was so much in need of making the roll out for what ever reason they push a bus out the gate (made the roll out) with the tow truck. The bus did not have an engine, it was being replaced. So you see a bus may enter service or have a fare box failure and be in service. TAPPING Off would not work. What do they do in Korea? Are assignment held in due to B.O. fare boxes or TAP Monitors. Are the Monitors vandalized like they could be here? Are there buses on the street twenty-four hours with minimal maintenance? What is their spare factor? These are all questions I ask.

      And why do I still comment on the issues. It’s because the monitors of this board know little about transit and my expertise often answers question they are unable to answer or refuse to because it would reveal the true S.O.P.’s used at the MTA.

  4. The Netherlands uses tap-in and tap-out on their buses too, using the OV Chipkaart transit card.

    Here’s people in Amsterdam tapping in the bus (this Youtube video is in Dutch)

    And here’s people in Amsterdam tapping off the bus

    And as an added bonus here’s people in Amsterdam tapping off of street trams

    Note that the multi-ethnic make up of the riders, young, old, even tourists, all doing this. I don’t see any reason why the Netherlands can do this but not Los Angeles.

    “I checked several videos and none showed passengers actually TAPPING On and OFF buses.”

    It seems you missed a video because the video posted by K Town Commuter titled “How to take a bus in Seoul” shows what you area asking for. The process is the same in the Netherlands. You tap in when you board the bus and you tap out when you exit the bus. It’s really not that complicated.

    • Been to the Netherlands and the people there are the politis and helpful people I have ever met. And yes, the Netherlands is a melting pot of cultures but said cultures have adopted the helpfulness that they are so famous for. I don’t know your travel habits but from what I have observed for over thirty years first as a Bus Operator, then a Supervisor and lastly just as a retired passenger the majority of the riders are in a hurry and not moving fast enough out of their way can result in aa verbal and sometimes a physical altercation. We see how slow some passengers are just to TAP ON, now imagen those same people holding up those who wish to alight the bus while they are TAPPING OFF. The only video from Korea that I saw showing TAPING ON and TAPING only showed a hand doing it not people lined up alighting a bus doing it.

      A modern system needs to be found but an upgrade of the current system including physically TAPPING OFF will not work in my opinion. The TAP system was ill conceived in the first place and from what I have read is still flawed in many ways.

      • “The only video from Korea that I saw showing TAPING ON and TAPING only showed a hand doing it not people lined up alighting a bus doing it.”

        This is getting ridiculous. It seems that no video is going to satisfy you because you’re going to nitpick at everything. Sooner or later, you’re going to say the entire world is going against you. This is how people become delusional conspiracy theorists.

        Common sense and a simple fact checking on the internet will tell you that places like Seoul, South Korea is a lot more transit oriented than LA is, that it has more people living in a metropolitan area than LA County, and therefore, mass transit and bus ridership is far more than LA can ever imagine.

        If the Koreans can figure out how to do TAP-in and TAP-out on buses since 2004 and no Google search shows that Seoul is in chaos because of this, then that’s good enough reason for any sane, rational person who can do deductive analysis that it TAP in, TAP out works fine aboard buses.

        All you have is your claim as “experience” and “observation” (but provide no proof or whatsoever), and somewhat borderline racist statements that when translated to, you are inherently saying is this:

        “People who ride the bus in LA can’t be trusted like Koreans or Dutch riders because people in LA have bad manners!!!”

        I actually find it to be very disturbing that people like you who look down upon bus riders are the type of the people who operate a bus here. Are there bad riders? Of course there are. And I take it that there are bad riders in Korea and the Netherlands, as there are bad riders on Uber as well (like that Taco Bell exec). But the vast majority of riders are normal, polite people and you can’t put your skewed views to judge all Metro riders because of few rotten apples.

        “We see how slow some passengers are just to TAP ON…”

        Well, let’s turn it around. Do you have a video that satisfies me that shows this that backs up your claim that TAP on is slow? And the video has to be just right and I will nitpick every single little detail that the video isn’t definitive until it satisfies that it’s a vindictive video. Because from my observations it isn’t slow at all. In my view, those that are paying by cash are the slow ones.

        “The TAP system was ill conceived in the first place and from what I have read is still flawed in many ways.”

        The reality is that we’re not going to get rid of the TAP system that is becoming the defacto standard of the way to pay in the mass transit world. Everywhere from San Francisco to Boston, from Vancouver to London, from Tokyo to Singapore, are using contactless transit cards.

        At this point, you are like Don Quixote trying to go up against a windmill.

        • You ride the bus and trains while I operated a bus and then supervised their operation for over 30 years. What you observe on your limited trips maybe entirely different from what I observed on a day to day basis. And as I have explained previously the TAP system is labor intensive whereby the simple system I operated under was much faster for both pass holders and cash fare passengers. Furthermore, I was introduced to the TAP Card system prior to it being inaugurated. There were problems concerning the amount of TAP Cards which were to be sold by the Bus Operators. Those who created the system used flawed information. From what I have read on this site there are still problems with it. In addition as I stated fare box failures are common. When this occurs the bus is not pulled off the line but instead continues in service. Also said bus with a manfuntioning fare box could be assigned to another run prior to being repaired. It’s lost revenue verses cancelled assignment. With that being said, implementing a system like in Korea could and will present problems such as a system failure on a bus making it impossible to TAP off. Not only would every passenger be charged for the entire length of the line but also have to pay a new fare on a bus or rail they were transferring.

          It’s not being raciest to point out how MTA passengers rush on and off buses, it’s the reality. When I was a Bus Operator I actually had to spring from my seat on holidays at the beach because passengers would sometimes knock slower people down and I had to push the offenders back and help the person up. When Supervisors were called in to Operate Buses during a strike many years ago the Transit Police were needed to stand by a heavy stops to control the would be passengers. You may see rude or disruptive passengers on a limited basis, I saw it everyday.

          I’m glad the TAP program seems to work to perfection in Korea but there are problems here that as of yet have not been solved. No matter what I have stated, facts and reality, you seem to disregard and only attack. Korea and the rest of Asia are not the center of a perfect world. Far from it. They rely heavily on the United States to not only protect them but to create innovation in every industry. The TAP system is extremely flawed and instead of increasing the efficiency in boarding passengers it has decreased it. It’s to labor intensive and prone to fail in route.

          A system that is both efficient and is not prone to on board failure is what should be developed. Korea and others are just accepting mediocre.

          Lastly, anyone can produce a video showing how a new and wonderful system works. But to show it in actual use with real passengers at busy stops is another matter.

          And for your information, Los Angeles had the best transit system in the world before the government took it over.

      • “Korea and the rest of Asia are not the center of a perfect world. Far from it. They rely heavily on the United States to not only protect them but to create innovation in every industry.”

        This jingoism would’ve worked as a rally call back in the 1970s when America actually still made something, but today, it’s just empty words that are backed by nothing, especially to this current generation. You’re not sounding very convincing when absolutely nothing is Made in the USA anymore and you yourself are likely using a non-American made product for the sheer fact that you yourself are using a computer to type here which is 100% likely not Made in the USA.

        The US isn’t the center of the perfect world either, this whole mantra of American exceptional-ism is nothing but a fantasy, the vast majority of Americans and the rest of the world does not want America to be the world’s policeman, and many Americans today are disillusioned with America being great thanks to both G.W. Bush (GOP), Obama (Democrat), and a Congress that can’t agree on anything.

        Put it another way, just because the US has bases all around the world to protect US interests does not mean the US or Americans has bragging rights or justifies acting like a bully. No one like braggers and no one likes bullies. And make no mistake, we’re not there to protect them, we do it because there’s US interest in doing so, whether it be containment of Communism during the Cold War, strengthening NATO against Russia, protecting capitalist and democratic Asian allies against Chinese aggression for mutual economic benefit, or fighting ISIS.

  5. fine7760,

    Here are my rebuttals to your questions:

    “If the picture shown is an example of a good idea it failed terribly. The so called express buses are sitting in total grid lock while the locals are sailing thru traffic.”

    You are entitled to your opinion, and can continue to criticize it without ever traveling to Seoul based on just hearsay and pictures alone, but on the other hand, I don’t see any Youtube videos saying how good Metro’s ideas are, Metro explaining why their idea is better, winning international transportation awards or having cities from all over the world coming here to LA to learn about our ideas.

    There’s only three ways to do this:

    1. Do nothing, leave chaotic as it is with buses sharing the same roads as cars in all lanes

    2. Build a bus lane near the curb which creates more traffic for regular cars, pissing off car drivers and taxi cabs (or rideshare services going by LA standards) because they can’t drop off people curb side any more

    3. Build a bus lane in the middle which alleviates traffic for the general lanes and keeps buses in the middle lanes.

    That’s it, those are the only three options that can be done with existing infrastructure apart from tearing apart the entire city and rebuilding it again.

    Seoul chose option #3 and it gets awarded as an innovative idea by the transportation community and cities all over the world who faces similar traffic congestion problems are interested in learning about Korea’s idea that Korea has now begun to capitalize upon selling the reforms they did throughout the world:

    Metro, chose option #2, no one is copying our idea, and I sure don’t see any international awards being presented to Metro, and I sure don’t see Metro actively promoting or trying to sell our system’s idea anywhere. All it has done is make everyone angry.

    And certainly I don’t see you presenting any better ideas, other than the usual complaining without providing any other realistic solutions or alternatives.

    “Not one of the videos showed TAPPING ON AND OFF Buses in regular service.”

    Can’t you do your own Youtube searches? It’s really not that hard:

    But even then, I suppose you’re going to find some other new excuse without any substance like “what works in Korea won’t work here in LA” or whatever.

    This is why we get nothing done in America anymore, you have people saying no to everything, making up more excuses just because they don’t like it for whatever reason (or maybe they’re just deep down, simply racist against Koreans and other minorities) never willing to try anything new or innovative, closed-minded, not willing to learning from others, and because of that America keeps getting left behind.

    • You state taking away the curb lane pisses off drivers of autos. Taking away the number traffic one lane plus the space needed for boarding and alighting passengers will cause far more problems in my opinion. A perfect example of mid street operation is in San Francisco on Market St. One must go around the boarding islands and in some sections Market St. is completely closed to thru traffic.

      I checked several videos and none showed passengers actually TAPPING On and OFF buses. Why is this important? Because in different cultures passengers react to their environment differently. We have more cultural diversity in Los Angeles than what is experienced in Korea or anywhere else . Some cultures are very patient boarding and alighting buses while others certainly are not and that is where the problem arises.

      While you may travel or have lived in Korea your experience is as a passenger. I worked for the RTD/MTA for over thirty years as both a Bus Operator and then as a Supervisor. Operating a bus for eight plus hours per day I observed a wide variety passenger behavior. From some being very considerate and helpful to those who would knock their fellow passenger down boarding and alighting the bus. Thirty years ago on board disturbances were few. Now every time I ride the bus I encounter bazar behavior that is apparently acceptable now. With that said, do you really believe a TAP ON and OFF program would work here using the same methods adopted by Korea? You can attempt to educate the public but will it change their attitude overall?

      Lastly one has to take into consideration of the cost and time to implement. New fare boxes, the current TAP receiver will cost a lot of money to replace just on MTA buses. It took almost ten years to get the other agencies on board. One cost again was new compatible fare boxes. And said fare boxes had a high failure rate at the time I retired. I attribute the failure rate to the constant pounding they receive while navigating the streets of L.A. and the long hours they are in service each day. With 24 hour service on many lines some buses each day are only in the yard long enough to be fueled before starting it’s new assignment.

      The current TAP system is limited and an alternative must be found. While Korea has won awards will the technology work here? In theory yes, but will it actually work efficiently in our social and hard use environment?

  6. Its next to impossible for the MTA to dictate what the other agencies in Los Angeles County can charge.

    Privatization of bus lines may seem like a good idea but it is a reality that those companies operating for instance MTA lines fail to fill assignments and do not respond to break downs in a timely manner. These two examples cause service delays or no service at all. I know of one company that would allow a Bus Operator to pull in early so she could catch the Metro link home. The big problem was her assignment was the last bus on the line everyday.

    TAPING off one bus and TAPING on to another bus may work in some locals but simple observation of the rush to board and alight buses in Los Angeles seems to make such a system difficult to operate here. Not one of the videos showed TAPPING ON AND OFF Buses in regular service.

    Traveling on BART in San Francisco assures one pays the correct distance based fare and the MTA should adopt it on all its rail lines. But difference is there are multiple gates to TAP in and TAP out as opposed to two or three narrow doors on a bus. A system should be developed but TAP Cards and terminals are not the answer.

    • Tapping on and off on buses are also normal down in Wellington, New Zealand. We have a transit card called Snapper and if you forget to tag out, you’re charged more for the ride and you have signs all over the bus saying that you need to tag off or you’ll pay more. That way, it encourages people to remember to tag out or they’ll end up paying more, which no one wants to do.

      You also get a discount on the fare by paying with the Snapper card so that encourages people to start paying with the card more than paying in cash. There really is nothing so complicated about this.

      • Nice video but staged. It did not depict several passengers trying to alight the bus via the same door at the same time. It would nice to see actual operation and passengers at a major stop, not at a terminal, like Broadway and Seventh in Downtown Los Angeles rushing off the bus. There are several videos produced by the LACMTA showing how easy it is to use the TAP CARD. These were also staged. I have a company issued retiree pass. It rarely works correctly when boarding. At of the time of my retirement there was a high instance of fare box failure and I understand the situation has not improved. Think of your Desk Top P.C. being shaken continually for 24 hours a day. At some point it’s going to fail. Thats the problem faced by major transit operators in the United States. With monitors having to be at both doors the problem increases 100%. Now lets take into concederation of another common problem in Los Angeles, vandalism. The fare box monitor is not subject to vandalism because it sits adjacent to the Bus Operator but that is not the case with the rear doors. Soft comfortable passenger seats are a thing of the past. Scratched up, and graffitied windows are the norm on many of the MTA buses. And the MTA experienced the problem of stolen bus radios from unattended bus until the thieves found out the radios could be traced to their address. Can you imagine the number of rear door monitors that would be damaged each day on all the MTA buses. And when a fare box becomes in operable MTA buses continue in service usually to the end of their assignment and will return to the street for their next assignment even if the fare box has not been fixed. It’s a question of lost revenue verses not completing the Roll Out.

        No, the TAP system used in Korea or the Netherlands cannot work here as designed. It’s a different society with acceptable different norms. My experience in the Netherland is not to be pushed or rushed off a bus but instead everyone being very considerate and helpful to one another. Over thirty years working for the RTD/MTA in Transportation has provided me with the true realities of how passengers treat one another. For a prepaid card to work efficiently at the MTA said card would have to be read using a touch less system that relies on a communication mode that is unaffected by the harsh work environment now faced by the TAP CARD readers.

  7. Seoul did have the same problems as we did and they went a major reform of their bus management system back in 2004:

    The reform seems to have worked very well that other Asian countries such as Singapore has been looking at it to fix their own bus traffic problems:

    I agree, this is something that Metro should look seriously in modeling after.

    • The Seoul bus reform video proves once again, that science, technology, and research based on facts and data, triumphs over those who just say no to everything but have nothing to back up their claims or whatever 1950s “reality” they base on that have no standing in the fast paced and high-tech world of the 21st century.

      If median bus only lanes works for Seoul who has more than 2.5 times more population than LA does, the same “middle of street” bus only lane concept can work here.

      Has anyone working at Metro considered this option? I have to doubt that there are no Korean-Americans working at Metro who understands how Seoul’s bus systems work.

      • If the picture shown is an example of a good idea it failed terribly. The so called express buses are sitting in total grid lock while the locals are sailing thru traffic.

    • Note in the “Seoul Bus Transform” video above at 2:38 mark that one of the key components of Seoul’s reform included moving away from flat rate fares on buses to distance based fares, which further discredits those who say this can’t be done onboard buses.

      It lists Seoul’s problems of their old fare system which all applies to LA today:

      1. Independent fare structure for each operator
      Same problem we have with different fares between Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver City Transit, DASH, Metrolink, etc. etc.

      2. Flat rate regardless of trip distance due to technology issues
      Same problem we have where a person going to the neighborhood supermarket is paying the same price as someone going from Santa Monica to City of Commerce

      3. Cash based fare policy despite high usage rate of transport card
      Same problem we have lots of people still using wrinkly old bills and pennies to pay for the bus despite moving to TAP

      4. Reimbursement of operation cost – annual fare increase pressure
      Same problem we have where Metro fares are going up with likely future fare increases

      After the reforms (video mark 2:43), it seems Seoul integrated the fare systems of all independent agencies to make the fare across Seoul more easier, and they also moved to a combination of flat rate (for the first 10km) + distance based (approx. 10 cents per every 10 km thereafter) + free transfers.

      Seoul managed to fix these problems, the same problems that Metro is having, with innovative ideas. Everybody at Metro should be watching this video to see how Seoul managed to get their bus system fixed because a lot of Seoul’s old bus system problems currently apply to Metro today.

  8. If you think about it more carefully than being dismissive of “foreign” ideas, the Korean method is pretty logical.

    According to Wikipedia, the Seoul Capital region ( has 25 million people living in an area size slightly larger than LA County (Seoul Capital region: 11704 sq. km. = 4518 sq. mi. > LA County at 4058 sq mi).

    Considering that Seoul is a future representation of LA County as population continues to increase, there has to be something logical there on why Seoul chose to run buses that way. I’m sure Seoul has had problems where people can’t hail taxi cabs or drop off passengers along the curb side sometime in the past as much as there are current problems in LA of Uber and Lyft drivers dropping off and picking up passengers in lanes dedicated for bus stops.

    Rapid buses could have their own dedicated painted bus lane in the middle of the street like the light rails while local buses and ride-share services can still use the regular traffic lanes and pick up people from the curbside.

    We should be more open to new ideas from countries that have run transit longer than we do and has more experience than us. It’s easy to dismiss ideas as tomfoolery, but it takes knowledge to take an extra step and think logically why that they chose to run it that way.

  9. This is not the first time this has been attempted on Wilshire Bl. in West Los Angeles. I can’t remember why it was discontinued.

  10. Thank you for taking away a full lane of traffic during the busiest hours of the day. This has caused a tremendous back up on Wilshire Blvd.

  11. Yes, because spending taxpayer dollars in hiring more officers at at a pay rate average of $50,000 a year just to go after cars driving on bus only lanes is more important than going after burglaries and homicides.

  12. Truly more enforcement is needed. I see plenty of people driving through, cutting in & out of the lanes, etc during the peak hours where they are Bus-only. I have seen LASD patrolling the lanes, I am surprised to learn that LAPD is responsible for enforcement, since I have never seen them attempt to enforce the lanes.

  13. There are cameras installed at Metro stations. People still fare evade. What makes you think cameras on buses will work? It’s not like everyone already has their own camera (smartphone) with them and that does nothing either.

    • The cameras currently on Metro busses are focused on the inside of the bus not on outside cars in the lanes like in SF. Without something like this which seems to work well enough in NoCal, the lanes are going to be clogged with cars.

      • In Seoul, different bus colors denotes what they do

        The green buses are privately run local lines that serves a single area whereas, blue and red buses are express lines from the suburbs or from one end of the metropolitan area to another.

        Put it LA terms, the buses that get to use the median lanes are the Red Metro express buses while the Orange Metro buses stay in the regular lanes.

      • There’s a Youtube video on the next comment page showing how a lot of science and research went into reforming the bus system in Seoul. It looks to be very thorough after watching that video. Why can’t we do this? What are we paying the folks at Metro for?

  14. Matt,

    In LA County, the LASC has issued a ruling that tickets issued by cameras are voluntary and nothing happens to you if you fail to pay the citation. Nothing gets reported to the DMV so adding cameras will do absolutely nothing to stop this from happening.

    Here are references to news articles about cameras being ineffective in LA County:

    Because of this, most people in LA who have received citations in the mail don’t even bother paying anymore. As such, the cost of maintaining the cameras are more expensive than the revenues earned from issued citations from cameras. That’s why these days, almost all the red light cameras are gone.

    The LASC ruling still stands and makes no reference to red light cameras to cameras installed into buses. So you can add cameras to buses, absolutely nothing will happen. Drivers will get a citation in the mail, the driver can ignore it, and nothing negative happens to their DMV driving history because LASC will not send out anything to the DMV nor has the DMV requested them.

    What you end up is millions of taxpayer money being spent to install cameras onto buses with very little citations being paid, just like security cameras do nothing to prevent crimes from happening at Metro stations.

  15. Who is in charge of enforcement on these lanes? On Tuesday I watched an Uber just pull over in front a #20 bus and just sit there, the other lanes were gridlocked and the bus was stuck. I see this happening all the time.

    “The grant of $23.3 million was paired with an $8.2 million local match” Since that $30+ Million will only buy you a repave and paint we need some enforcement because without it drivers just treat “bus only” as a suggestion.

    • Hi partybrand;

      The city of Los Angeles as the lanes are in L.A.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • If possible take a picture of the Uber car and get the license plate number and report it directly to Uber. Maybe, place the picture on Uber’s facebook for all to see. Hopefully, Uber will have a talk with the driver.

      • There is of course an etiquette issue for Uber riders themselves as well.

        I’ve been on my share of Uber Pool rides and though I may have the courtesy of being at the spot so I can get into the car immediately, I’ve had instances where the Uber driver goes to the place where it pings and we just wait there for 5-10 minutes because the person hasn’t gotten ready yet. I hate to imagine how this is like in busy streets where the rider isn’t there at the curbside and is still inside the bar or whatever.

        Put it that way, Uber drivers need to follow the CVCs but the Uber riders themselves also have to evolve to a better state where they are considerate of drivers. Remember that Taco Bell executive who threw punches at the Uber driver in Newport Beach?

    • I do agree that there are violations all over the place. Cameras are needed on the busses like in SF. Also, better signage as well since the lanes cut in and out and are only in effect for a few hours each day. Their effectiveness is being squandered and this will imperil future projects similarly. Expecting an overburdened LAPD to enforce these lanes is a recipe for disaster.