Wilshire BRT and El Monte Busway Improvements Coming…In 2015

Coming in four years...Image via Metro website

As far as I can tell two recent agency reports with updated information on the status of important transit-related improvements went straight under the radar with nary a word in the blogsphere or mass media (much like the poorly publicized TAP cards sold by bus operator pilot project I wrote about previously). Belatedly let me share you the latest on the Wilshire Bus lane project and the Patsaouras Gateway Plaza busway station:

An Oct. 9 memo from the L.A. Dept. of Transportation to the City Council gives an update on the status of the Wilshire BRT project: “Extensive roadway improvements on Wilshire Boulevard, including curb lane reconstruction and selective street widening, will be done before the bus lanes are installed. Design and engineering is scheduled to be completed by June 2013, followed by construction of roadway improvements, traffic mitigation measures, Transit Priority System upgrades, and bus lane striping and signage. The project is expected to be completed and operational by June 2015.”

Meanwhile buried in a recent Metro staff report is the news that to have it avoid impacting the ExpressLane demonstration the Gateway Plaza station for the El Monte busway will be delayed undergoing construction and is now not due to be open until mid 2015 at the earliest. What impact the recent FTA grant for the project could have on this timetable is unknown.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t LA Metro want a fully operable Busway operation in place to see if the Tyler Duvall Toll Lanes can function side-by-side with no degradation to a facility paid-for-by-transit-funds-in-1972 but now opened to paying SOVs?

  • Allison M.

    I’m trying to understand why it will take 2 years to do the upgrades and testing after the engineering is complete? Is this normal for BRT? It seems unnecessarily long.

  • Anonymous

    Once again Dana Gabbard proves invaluable at picking up the bits of Metro news that fall through the cracks.

  • The gateway plaza was originally set to debut in 2010, yes?

  • Juan Matute

    This is abnormal for bus-only lanes on city-owned streets.  The City of LA must be stalling, because Metro will realize considerable operating cost savings as soon as they role out the lanes.  Though 5-∞ years can be common for Caltrans-managed right-of-way.

    If stakeholders are worried about CEQA, they just need to adjust the level of service methodology to something that accounts for all roadway users, and then the bus-only lane becomes a traffic mitigation measure.

  • Irwinc

    It takes 18 months to design a bus lane?

    And 24 months to repave and cut some curbs?

    This is just crazy. The Expo line phase 2 will open before Wilshire Blvd gets bus lane?!?!?! 

  • It does take two years to build things after completion of final plans. You have to advertise the project, award, deal with any challenges, relocate utilities, schedule around major events, coordinate with businesses, etc. In fact two years may be optimistic. The new El Monte station was supposed to be completed three months ago, but got pushed back because of an unknown gas line and hazardous waste under the old station.