Bus Lanes Update: La Brea, Olive/Grand, and More Alvarado Coming Soon

New bus lane marking in West Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
New bus lane marking in West Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
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The L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) and Metro are continuing to gradually roll out new bus-only lanes. The two agencies are partnering on a bus speeds working group that has already added new bus lanes on Flower Street, 5th Street, 6th Street, Aliso Street, and Alvarado Street.

A presentation (slides, staff report) at this morning’s Metro board Operations Committee was the first public announcement of new bus lanes planned for La Brea Avenue. At that meeting, Metro boardmembers Mike Bonin, Holly Mitchell, and Jacqueline Dupont-Walker all praised the relatively quick-build bus lanes that are improving transit riders’ lives.

A new LADOT staff report (posted today) gives some additional information.

Metro bus-only lanes project map - via Metro presentation
Metro bus-only lanes project map – via Metro presentation. (Note that Alvarado project is only partially completed)

Below is a rundown of additional bus speed improvements coming to L.A. streets soon. Metro staff also stated that the agency is working on further bus speed improvements, including all-door boarding and transit signal prioritization.

Alvarado Street

In late June, Metro and the city celebrated the opening of the new Alvarado Street bus lanes.

The segment that opened in June was only about 1.2 miles of the 1.6-mile long project. It turns out that the northern portion of the facility – between the 101 Freeway and Sunset Boulevard – is still awaiting Caltrans approval. According to Caltrans Public Information Officer Michael Comeaux, this section of Alvarado is part of State Route 2. “Currently, the [Alvarado bus lanes] project is in the design phase” stated Comeaux, and “approval of the design is the sole responsibility of Caltrans.” Comeaux stated that Caltrans “anticipates approving the design by October” though “the timetable is subject to change.”

Grand/Olive Couplet

Earlier this month, Streetsblog reported that the planned Olive Street and Grand Avenue bus lane couplet is expected to open around November 2021. This project remains on track to be completed before the end of the calendar year.

La Brea Avenue

Metro and LADOT are planning peak hour bus lanes on 5.9 miles of La Brea Avenue from Sunset Boulevard to Coliseum Street. The project would speed up the La Brea bus line 212, which connects to stations for the B (Red) and E (Expo) Lines, as well as the under-construction D (Purple) Line station.

The proposed lanes would operate on weekdays only between 7-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. Metro anticipates the lanes would likely be implemented by Spring 2022.

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