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.

Filed Under: BRT

  • DanW

    Sunset/SantaMonica Blvd., Vermont, Venice are all obvious choices.

  • John

    It’s interesting how some of the corridors being studied formerly had Rapid lines but had them cut in the last round of service cuts. In my opinion, just bringing back the Rapid lines that were cut (or restoring frequency) would be a huge improvement, and cost a lot less.

  • calwatch

    A lot of the Rapid lines sucked, like the Central, Florence, and Beverly rapids. Do you really want to bring them back?

  • Nate

    I’m still relatively new to LA, but why did the Central and Florence lines underperform? Low ridership or slow travel speeds? Florence seems to me to be crying out for one- there are several different lines on all parts of Florence as well as the 111 local, but no single bus that travels quickly. Besides, leaving that big to a boulevard gap between the BRT on Manchester and Slauson seems to be a mistake.

  • North LA

    Having tried to ride the orange busway, I am dubious of all of Metro’s BRT proposals. It is sad because BRT can have some major benefits. But when Transit agencies use BRT for politics and cost cutting instead of listening to the engineers, it taints the whole concept. I hear the same compliant across the nation about how BRT is losing favor due to it being used as token infrastructure and not really serving the public need.

    Being continually sold on BRT by Metro is why I voted against Measure J.

  • Nate

    My mistake- just checked the map and there is no Metro Rapid on Manchester or Slausen.

    Now that I’m looking at it, they should put a Metro Rapid line on Manchester instead of Florence. Manchester is also roughly in the middle between the Vernon Metro Rapid and the Green Line, and the line could pick up a blue line station stop, a silver line station stop, and end at OTIS to the west.

    To the east, it could flow from Mancehster onto Firestone, pick up the end of the green line at the Norwalk station, and do what the green line should have done from the start- continue on and end at the Metrolink station at Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs.

  • We don’t need a study to tell us which corridor needs BRT, just look at which Rapid lines have highest ridership and longest trip time. It’s not rocket science…

    Highest Priority / bare bones BRT network:
    1. Wilshire 720 (it’s happening but NIBMY battle royale)
    2. Venice 733
    3. Vermont 754
    4. Ventura 750
    5. Sepulveda 761/Rapid 6

    Would be nice to have / a functional BRT network:
    6. Santa Monica 704
    7. Western 757
    8. Colorado/Fairfax 780
    9. Crenshaw 710
    10. Garvey 770

    If money is unlimited / a world class BRT network:
    11. Olympic 728
    12. Lincoln Rapid 3
    13. Westwood Rapid 12
    14. La Cienega 705
    15. Soto 751

  • There needs to be reliable, direct, fast service between North Hollywood Station and Pasadena. The entire media corridor from Universal to WB to Disney and beyond are “off the grid” and don’t connect or plug into the expanding Metro Rail system at all.

    A Rapid Bus, BRT or Light Rail connecting these communities could lead to a big jump in commuters, since the studios and media companies have workers spread around the entire Southland.

    Missing these job centers in their approach to regional transit is a big mistake. That’s why I’m glad to see the proposed line roughly paralleling or traveling on the 134 Freeway.

  • calwatch

    Except they tried a Rapid on Manchester, and it failed (although it didn’t go as far as you would have liked it, it ended at LAX Lot C on the west and at Lakewood Boulevard on the east. http://boardarchives.metro.net/ServiceSectors/Gateway/20100909OtherSectorGATItem6.pdf

  • We already have an express bus such as you describe…


  • During the presentation they spoke of regional equity as among the criteria. And that folks from various sub-regions were put out if one of the 5 didn’t go through their area (“where is our trophy BRT line?”. BTW, it is well established by far the highest ridership corridors are on the westside.

  • The Federal Transit Administration has been behind the big national BRT push. It makes sense when aligned with a corridor that its characteristics match (much like people movers are ideal as circulator/distributors in an airport setting, not so much as regional mass transit).

  • The Commuter Express is only available during peak commute times, it does not operate during the day or late in the evening.

  • Anonymous

    Makes a lot more sense than spending many, many billions on a single subway line.

  • Anonymous

    Makes a lot more sense than spending many, many billions on a single subway line.

  • The Wilshire Rapid is maxing out and even the bus lane will only delay the inevitable. Regional mobility is an investment worth making.

  • Commuter Express essentially does 95% of what you ask for the media corridor to have. Spending on an expensive freeway express for very little potential ridership doesn’t remotely pencil out.

    “Missing these job centers in their approach to regional transit is a big mistake.” We don’t spend billions for lines with stations only used 3-4 hours a day (and empty on weekends).

  • Studio City

    This is a great idea. But separated, safe bicycle lanes need to be part of the deal. It has been done in other cities. Do it here.


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