Two San Fernando Valley councilmen introduced a motion to the Los Angeles City Council on Friday to develop short-term Orange Line busway improvements.
Councilmen Bob Blumenfield, District 3, and Paul Krekorian, District 2, want the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to work with the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, or Metro, to look at options for enhancing service performance and ridership.
Among short term improvements envisioned are developing software to let bus operators know when to speed up or slow down as they approach traffic signals, and increasing the speed at which buses cross intersection from 10 miles per hour to not more than 25 miles per hour.
“Making the Orange Line faster and more efficient is crucial, not only for my West Valley neighborhoods, but for communities across the region,” Blumenfield said in a prepared statement.
The Orange Line opened in 2005 and transports up to 30,000 people a day on its 18-mile route from North Hollywood to Chatsworth. The popularity of the route has brought talk from elected officials and business groups on ways to improve service, including converting the bus line into light rail.
This summer the Valley Industry & Commerce Association formed Valley on Track, a coalition of more than 30 city and state lawmakers, business and transit groups, neighborhood councils and individual residents advocating for three rail projects in the Valley.
The projects are replacing the Orange Line busway with rail; putting a light rail system on Van Nuys Boulevard to connect the Sylmar Metrolink station with Ventura Boulevard; and connecting the Valley with the Westside by burrowing a train tunnel through the Santa Monica Mountains and down the Sepulveda Pass.
In July, the Metro board unanimously approved doing a feasibility study on the Orange Line conversion proposal.