Bus service is on our minds this year more than ever. We hired over 1000 new operators. We restored service to pre-pandemic levels. We’re on our way to creating a zero emissions fleet. We even celebrated the centennial of continuous bus service in LA!
And we continue to tackle one of our biggest challenges –– ensuring that riding the bus is fast, safe, reliable, and efficient.
It’s no secret that traffic congestion affects everyone –– especially our bus riders. Not even the biggest and brightest team of bus operators can maneuver a vehicle out of gridlocked traffic. When more cars clog the roads, bus service suffers. We need to get creative to show you that riding the bus is as fast and convenient as driving a car.
That’s why we’re so pleased to announce that the City of Los Angeles and the City of West Hollywood officially opened 5.7 lane miles (2.8 miles end to end) of bus priority lanes on La Brea Avenue today, running from Sunset Boulevard to Olympic Boulevard. We quietly opened them last month, but a press event this morning –– emceed by Metro’s Chief Operations Officer Conan Cheung –– made it official.
Why does this matter? A few reasons:
First, bus priority lanes are foolproof ways to improve travel speeds and ensure more reliable service. We now have 40 miles of bus priority lanes throughout the City of Los Angeles … and they’re making a difference. Bus service has been significantly faster in the areas where these special lanes have been implemented. The data isn’t all in quite yet, but on the stretch of La Brea Avenue where the priority bus lanes have been installed, we’re expecting bus speeds to improve by up to 15%.
Second, bus priority lanes are relatively fast and cost-effective to implement. After all, creating bus priority lanes doesn’t require us to widen any roads or alter the existing street infrastructure, which is expensive and time consuming. In this way, these lanes are part of a larger legacy of creativity that has characterized the last 100 years of bus service in LA.
Third, our bus priority lanes testify to the incredible partnerships that are so vital to improving travel in Los Angeles. Since we don’t own the public right of way, implementing these new lanes required working closely with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and other City departments, the City of West Hollywood … and numerous other stakeholders. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.
So, if you haven’t already ridden yet, we invite you to join the 9,000 riders that use Line 212 each day and hop on board! The bus priority lanes will be operational during weekday peak hours (between 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.) and will run every ten minutes. Need a lift to the nearest Metro station? No problem! West Hollywood’s Cityline shuttle service will use the lanes to access the Hollywood/Highland B (Red) Line station.
This morning’s event was an exciting milestone, but we’re just getting started. Planning for a southern segment, which will continue down La Brea Avenue from Olympic Boulevard to Coliseum Street, is already in the works. And later this fall, more bus priority lanes are scheduled to be implemented along Sepulveda Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again –– we want to be your first choice for getting around in Los Angeles, whether you travel by bus, train, bike, microtransit, or on foot. These new bus lanes are meaningful steps toward achieving this ambitious goal. So thanks for checking in about this important project. And thanks for riding Metro.
Categories: Transportation News