Garcetti Opens New Bus-Only Lanes On 5th and 6th Streets Downtown

Mayor Garcetti opening the new bus and bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets. Image via Facebook Live
Mayor Garcetti opening the new bus and bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets. Image via Facebook Live

This morning, via Facebook Live, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the grand opening of the city’s newest bus-only lanes. The coupled pair of new one-way bus lanes are on 5th and 6th Streets through downtown Los Angeles. Garcetti praised the bus lanes as part of the city’s Green New Deal and emphasized their importance for equity in serving people who can’t afford a car.

The bus lanes are a joint project of L.A. city and Metro. Much of 5th and 6th were resurfaced under the city’s Bureau of Street Services “Streets L.A.” ADAPT accelerated repaving program during COVID-19’s traffic lull. The bus lanes are the first on-the-ground improvements to come out of Metro and the L.A. City Transportation Department’s (LADOT) bus speed working group, established under city and Metro motions authored by City Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Streetsblog reported on the planned lanes in late May and early June and shared photos of the in-process lanes in July.

The new westbound 5th Street bus lane extends 1.2 miles from Central Avenue to Flower Street. The new eastbound 6th Street bus lane extends 1.2 miles from Grand Avenue to Central Avenue. They operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

According to Metro, more than 80 buses per hour carrying about 29,000 daily riders currently use either 5th or 6th on weekdays. This doesn’t include municipal transit operators Torrance Transit, LADOT DASH and Commuter Express, Antelope Valley Transit, and Montebello Bus Lines.

Responding to a campaign from Skid Row activists led by L.A. Community Action Network (LA CAN), the city also added protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th, but only from Spring Street to Central.

More bus lanes are on the way to downtown Los Angeles. Look for additional bus-only facilities on Aliso Street, Grand Avenue, and Olive Street – as well as a planned queue-jump signal on 5th at Flower. Today, Garcetti pledged to replicate these bus lanes and protected bike lanes in other parts of the city including “in your neighborhood.”

Metro map of planned bus-only lanes in downtown Los Angeles - via Metro presentation
Metro map of planned bus-only lanes in downtown Los Angeles – via Metro presentation

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