Six years after its opening, the Metro Orange Line in Los Angeles remains one of the few true BRT corridors in the United States. Right of way is almost entirely an exclusive busway, and buses receive well-enforced signal priority against cross traffic.
The 14 stations along the 14 mile route currently see approximately 24,000 weekday boardings. A second branch, from Canoga Station in the west north to Chatsworth, will be opening in June 2012. Though only one service currently operates along the route (serving all stops between Warner Center and North Hollywood), the extension will lead Metro to consider other services, such as north-south between Chatsworth and Warner Center. A limited-stop service to the North Hollywood Red Line station might also make sense, given that there are passing lanes at stations and peak headways, currently at 4 minutes, will be high enough to support such service after the extension opens. Though given Metro’s propensity for simplifying service patterns, like the elimination of Metro Rapid Express 920, this seems unlikely. Pictures from a January ride are included below, as is a Measure R construction update on the extension.
Though the Orange Line is not grade separated from cross traffic, it does receive numerous priority treatments.
Wide doors, level boarding, and fare prepayment allow for minimal dwell times.
The Orange Line’s western terminus, Warner Center, offers few passenger amenities.
The eastern terminus, North Hollywood, is visually distinct.
Wayfinding for the Orange Line is good within the North Hollywood Red Line station, but…
Passengers must cross a busy street to transfer between the Orange and Red lines.
Bike lockers are available for rent at most Orange Line stations.
Bicycles are prevalent both onboard the Orange Line and along the parallel bike path.
Construction for the extension to Chatsworth near Canoga Station
Photo I shot of Mayor Villaraigosa talking with members of the Bus Riders Union
As part of my work for greenRELAY, I went to a special meeting of the MTA Board today. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came an hour late and seemed a bit out of it, but he took a couple of minutes after the meeting to chat with members of the Bus Riders Union.… Read the rest
A few weeks ago, I moved up to Los Angeles to start work on greenRELAY, my Lang Opportunity Scholarship project. On my rainy commute last week, my bus driver was singing “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” incessantly. It was amusing, but nowhere near as good as the New York MTA’s Christopher Dolan.… Read the rest
This bill authorizes LA Metro to proceed with its congestion pricing plan. Metro plans to charge a toll for single occupancy vehicles to drive in the HOV lanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, and, as the Botttleneck Blog reports, potentially the 210 (which my Urban Economics final paper covered). The funding for this project comes from the Federal grant that was going to fund congestion pricing in Manhattan before Albany killed it.
New York actually looks up to part of LA’s public transit system? Way to go, Metro Rapid. From the NY Times:
After watching New York City bus speeds struggle to the point where some Manhattan buses crawl at 4 miles per hour — only slightly faster than the average human walks — transportation planners now think that if they can make buses move even 10 percent faster, they can revolutionize travel in the five boroughs.
That’s right, just 10 percent.
In early May, a group of New York planners will visit Los Angeles to observe a program that has sped up buses there by 22 to 25 percent. The changes include designated bus lanes, straighter routes, easy-to-board low-floor buses, specially marked stations, far fewer stops, the elimination of schedules, and computerized signaling that gives buses priority at intersections.