At last Wednesday’s Associated Students meeting, representatives from Metro shared a brief proposal of a future 18-mile bus transit system called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that would link North Hollywood to PCC.
Bus Rapid Transit is defined as one would expect, it is a bus transit system with less stops and usually has dedicated lanes to decrease travel times through highly trafficked areas called corridors. With transit signal priority, buses can communicate with street lights to get more green lights. In addition passengers are able to pay bus fare prior to boarding with an app or at a pay booth to decrease stopping times.
The aim of this project will be to provide a premium east-west transit service to link key activity centers and improve access to jobs, education, essential services and the regional transit system.
Metro’s 2013 County Bus Rapid Transit and Street Design Improvement Study identified the North Hollywood to Pasadena corridor as the most heavily traveled region without a premium bus service. This corridor has more than 700,000 daily trips in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. As a result, this corridor was selected as one of the first to be studied for potential BRT implementation.
“Bus Rapid Transit is comparable to light rail but a lot cheaper and able to catch more green lights with limited stops,” Metro representative Scott Hartwell explained. “Passengers would pay fare prior to boarding via an app and [the bus] would have more exits and entrances for faster boarding.”
The project has a few phases to undergo before filing a final proposal. They still have to conduct an Alternative Analysis to determine a final route. In addition to the analysis an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be submitted by Spring 2020 in order to observe the potential environmental issues such as traffic, limited parking and smog.
The Metro board moved to approve two motions for receiving and filing of the North Hollywood to Pasadena Corridor Alternative Analysis Study Report and authorizing the CEO to initiate the Draft Environmental Impact Report on Thursday April 25.
“We are aiming to propose and finalize the project [BRT] by Fall 2020,” Metro Community Relations Manager Lilian De Loza-Gutierrez stated. “The [BRT] system is planned to begin operations within 2022-2024.”
There are two proposed routes as of now. The street concept runs exclusively on streets from Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. The alternative is a freeway concept that operates primarily along the Ventura Freeways (134 Freeway) High-Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lane starting at the North Hollywood Red/Orange Line Station and travels north to the Hollywood-Burbank Airport, then enter onto Interstate 5 (I-5) before merging onto the Ventura Freeway at the I-5/SR-134 interchange.