A California Senate committee has passed a bill lifting a ban on light rail construction along portions of the Orange Line busway operated by the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The bill, AB 577, sponsored by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys, passed the Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday. It previously passed the Assembly and now moves to the Senate’s consent calendar.

If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would repeal 1991 legislation that banned light rail in the Valley and limited transit projects to a subway or a dedicated bus way. Metro could then consider light rail along a 3.5 mile section of the Orange Line between North Hollywood and Hazeltine Avenue in Van Nuys.

Stuart Waldman, the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, a Sherman Oaks business advocacy group, said passage of the bill is an important first step in getting the San Fernando Valley a transportation system comparable with the rest of Los Angeles.

“The road to light rail transit may well be long, but now it’s not impossible,” said Waldman, in a prepared statement.