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What Corridors Could Be Best for BRT? Metro’s Study Progresses

Back at the August 4, 2011 Metro Board meeting Los Angeles Mayor (and Metro Board member) Antonio Villariagiosa authored a motion that directed Metro undertake among other bus service improvements initiatives a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study " ... with local jurisdictions to identify, analyze and recommend a minimum of five corridors in the County that can accommodate an effective Bus Rapid Transit system" with the goal of building a cross-county BRT network.

A strategy to identify the five corridors was approved at the Oct. 19, 2011 Metro Board meeting. A progress report in the form of a board box item was distributed to the Metro Board in June 2012. By then the study had acquired a name that is a bit of a mouthful: Los Angeles County Bus Rapid Transit and Street Design Improvement Study.

The latest updates were presented at the Feb. 20, 2013 Metro Board Planning and Programming Committee meeting and the March 27, 2013 Metro Citizens' Advisory Council meeting.

And what is the status? In February at the Board meeting staff stated:

We will complete this study and return to the Board in May 2013 with a final report, highlighting a countywide bus rapid transit system of approximately 12 corridors, and identifying a subset of approximately 5 corridors that are most promising for near term implementation, should the Board choose to proceed with BRT corridor project development.

The deadline appears to have slipped as the March presentation avers "Anticipate study to be completed by June 2013".

Which corridors are being studied, you wonder? The Feb. staff report has a list of candidate corridors. But even better to visualize what is being studied here is a map (in color!) from the March presentation.

BTW, at this time no identified funding exists to go forward with any implementation. Also as an initiative of the soon to be ex-Mayor I can foresee any recommendations without champions on the Board to promote them going nowhere fast. Also the study seems premature given the sbX and Wilshire bus lanes are not yet open. If those prove successful I could then see as a next step a network of BRT routes being identified and funded. But doing a study now puts the cart before the horse.

My thanks to Annelle Albarran of Metro for providing the very informative materials from the March presentation and Damien Newton's assisting by placing them on online via SCRIBD.

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