Among those is the Orange Line Improvements Project, which seeks to speed up buses, increase safety along the busway and eventually prepare the Orange Line for conversion to light rail (albeit in the 2050s unless funds are found to accelerate).
Some news involving the project:
•The project continues to study at railroad-style gates at up to 35 intersections along the busway as well as bridges for buses and the Orange Line Bike Path over Sepulveda and Van Nuys boulevards. The project initially aimed for one long bridge that would span both Sepulveda and Van Nuys but is now looking at separate structures.
•The project this spring was awarded $75 million in state funding with some of those funds from SB-1, the state gas tax and vehicle fee increase that went into effect last year. That supplements $286 million in Measure M sales tax funding for the project.
•Metro is working with the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Transportation (LADOT) on gate designs and a pilot gating project at one intersection to test the concept. Metro is aiming to break ground on the project by 2019 and have it complete by 2025. This is also one of 28 major projects that Metro is trying to complete in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics to be held in the Los Angeles area.
•The project team continues to work on transfer designs with staff of two other Metro rail projects that will have connections to the Orange Line — the Van Nuys to Sylmar/San Fernando Station light rail project (formally called East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor) and the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, which will run from the Orange Line to the Westside and eventually LAX.
There are also several other Metro projects in the works involving the Orange Line. These include the new Warner Center shuttle and bus route adjustments, the electrification of the Orange Line by 2020 to reduce noise and air pollution and the joint development proposed on Metro-owned land at NoHo Station. Another future project is a bus rapid transit line — funded by Measure M — between North Hollywood Station and the Gold Line in Pasadena.
Not to harp on the always lovely and fascinating issue of transpo funding, but two other projects have also received state grants that draw heavily on SB-1 funds: the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor won a $300-million grant and the NoHo-to-Pasadena BRT project secured a $50-million grant. California voters in November will consider a ballot measure to repeal SB-1, which if successful would prompt Metro to look elsewhere for that funding.