Councilmembers Blumenfield and Krekorian Lead City Efforts to Improve Orange Line

Move follows Metro report on short and long term improvements along one of the Valley’s most critical pieces of transit infrastructure.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Paul Krekorian today took a key first step toward upgrading the Orange Line by directing City departments to actively engage in making immediate and short-term improvements along the heavily used busway. The Orange Line is among the San Fernando Valley’s most vital pieces of transit infrastructure, starting in the West Valley where it passes through each of Blumenfield’s five communities, across the San Fernando Valley, before terminating in North Hollywood, just steps from Councilmember Krekorian’s district office.

Today’s motion, introduced as the Los Angeles City Council met in the San Fernando Valley, would direct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to work in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) to examine options for enhancing service performance and ridership on the Metro Orange Line, including immediate and short term improvements for which City department collaboration will be needed. The motion follows a report last month from Metro detailing both short and long term improvements to the Orange Line in response to a motion brought before the Metro Board by Krekorian in his capacity as a Metro Boardmember.

“Making the Orange Line faster and more efficient is crucial, not only for my West Valley neighborhoods, but for communities across the region,” said Blumenfield. “I have vigorously applauded Councilmember Krekorian’s advocacy and leadership on the Metro Board, and I am pleased to be able to work together to support that work in the City of Los Angeles.”

“It’s important to get the full resources of the city behind this project,” said Krekorian. “Since it first opened in 2005, the Orange Line has been an incredible success and a vital transit connector for 30,000 people a day in the San Fernando Valley. That’s why my focus on the Metro Board of Directors and on the City Council is to implement improvements that will make the Orange Line better now, while embracing a long-term vision to expand capacity.”

BACKGROUND

The Orange Line is the San Fernando Valley’s only east-west dedicated transit way and is an essential backbone of Valley transportation. The Orange Line is the second most popular Metro bus and is running at or near Metro policy maximum capacity during peak periods. Based on Krekorian’s motion, Metro is developing a study to examine options for enhancing service performance and ridership on the Metro Orange Line.

Among the short term improvements that can bring real benefits to Valley commuters are 1) using real-time information gained from the signal system and the location of buses to develop software to signal operators when to speed up or slow down as they approach signals and 2) increasing the intersection crossing speeds from the artificially low speed of 10 mph to not more than 25 mph.

Metro will also begin assessing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) upgrades and the potential of converting the Orange Line to Light Rail Transit (LRT) and potential implementation strategies.  Many short and long term solutions would require City department collaboration.

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