LADOT Upgrading DASH, Commuter Express, Cityride – Asking for Input

LADOT DASH bus - photo via Walk Eagle Rock
LADOT DASH bus – photo via Walk Eagle Rock

The city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT) is proposing an extensive suite of changes to the way it operates transit. LADOT transit operations include DASH shuttle buses, Commuter Express buses, and Cityride service for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The good news is that services are expanding. Generally, LADOT characterizes the planned citywide modifications as bringing service levels back up to what they were in 2010, when the agency had cut service to respond to budget shortfalls. There are ten new DASH lines planned. Existing DASH lines will run more frequently, and expand to later hours and weekends. Numerous DASH and Commuter Express lines are slated for minor tweaks, and a dozen are slated for major route changes.

Full proposals are available at the LADOT Transit website.

LADOT is requesting comments at a series of public meetings underway:

  • Tuesday 8/23Tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at Glassell Park Senior Center at 3750 Verdugo Road in Glassell Park
  • Wednesday 8/24 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center at 11338 Santa Monica Boulevard in West L.A.
  • Monday 8/29 – 6 to 7 p.m. at San Pedro Library, Community Room at 931 South Gaffey Street in San Pedro
  • Tuesday 8/30 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Hollywood Recreation Center at 1122 Cole Avenue in Hollywood
  • Wednesday 8/31 – 6 to 7 p.m. at Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, Rm. 1A at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys

Comments can be given in person at meetings, via an online survey, by calling 213.995.4545, or via email to ideas[at]ladottransit.com and hearingofficer[at]store.ladottransit.com.

Streetsblog attended LADOT’s midday meeting yesterday in downtown L.A. The meeting included a review of planned changes, focused mostly on the extensive DASH network in downtown Los Angeles.  

For the past couple years, LADOT has worked with a consultant to develop proposals for route changes and new routes. Generally, changes involve streamlining routes by eliminating turns, and often moving service from secondary streets to primary arterials.

All DTLA DASH routes are planned to extend hours to 9 p.m. Additional changes planned include:

  • DASH Route A – route to be trimmed slightly at both ends
  • DASH Route B – new Sunday service, route to combine with Lincoln Heights DASH to create route extending from Lincoln Park to Staples Center
  • DASH Route D – frequency to increase, minor route changes near L.A. Trade Tech College
  • DASH Route E – weekday frequency to decrease from every five minutes to every six (Sunday frequency to increase), route modified to extend to MacArthur Park
  • DASH Route F – weekend hours to extend to 10 p.m., frequency to increase, extend route east to Arts District

A few public comments at yesterday’s meeting were critical of specific route modifications. Overall, the comments tended toward asking for additional service. With DASH service expanding from its present 6 p.m. end time to 9 and 10 p.m., downtown commenters requested even later service to connect with downtown destinations including bars and the Music Center. Late night DASH service was studied and recommended in 2008, but funding has been elusive.

If approved by the L.A. City Council, the DASH service modifications are expected to be implemented in January 2017.

In addition to service changes on existing DASH routes, LADOT is proposing ten new DASH routes:

  • Boyle Heights West* – route includes Cesar E Chavez Ave., Lorena St., Olympic Blvd., and Soto St.
  • Canoga Park* – route includes Topanga Canyon Blvd, Roscoe Blvd., Winnetka Ave., and Sherman Way
  • Elysian Valley/Cypress Park – route includes Fletcher Dr., Riverside Dr., North Figueroa St., and Griffin Ave.
  • Glassell Park/Highland Park – route includes San Fernando Rd, Division St., and York Blvd.
  • Mission Hills* – route includes Woodley Ave., Rinaldi St., San Fernando Mission Rd., and Chatsworth St.
  • North Hollywood – route includes Laurel Canyon Blvd., Vanowen St., Tujunga Ave., Oxnard St., Vineland Ave., and Lankershim Blvd.
  • Pacoima* – route includes Van Nuys Blvd., Glenoaks Blvd., Osborne St., and Roscoe Blvd.
  • Sun Valley – route includes Whitsett Ave., Strathern St., Vineland Ave., and Saticoy St.
  • Sylmar* – route includes Hubbard St., Sayre St., and Eldridge Ave.
  • Van Nuys/North Hills – route includes Haskell Ave., Woodley Ave., and Saticoy St.

Five phase 1 expansion routes (marked * above) would begin service 12 to 18 months after Fall, 2016, approval. Five additional routes would be added later, pending LADOT securing additional funding.

In addition to extensive DASH changes, there are route changes for two Commuter Express bus lines, also planned to take effect January 2017:

  • Line 142 (San Pedro to Long Beach) – modify San Pedro service from 7th Street to southern Gaffey Avenue
  • Line 437 (Marina Del Rey to DTLA) – add service to Playa Vista

Lastly there is also a restructuring of Cityride van and taxi service for seniors and people with disabilities. Quarterly fare purchase limits would be doubled, restoring 2010 service levels. Additional specifics are proposed for trip distances and use of taxis.

Public input on LADOT’s transit modifications will be received through September 9. The changes will go to the City Council this fall for approval.

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