The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted Thursday to launch a pilot bus route to connect the North Hollywood Red Line subway station with the Gold Line in Pasadena.
The new NoHo-Pasadena Express route will have six stops and operate every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours, every 30 minutes during weekday off-peak times and every 30 minutes on weekends. The route will travel primarily on the 134 Freeway with stops in Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena.
The cost of the six-month pilot program will be $1.3 million if operated directly by Metro, or $1.2 million if contracted out, according to a staff report prepared for the Oct. 15 meeting of Metro’s System Safety, Security and Operations Committee.
The committee recommended the full Metro board approve the pilot program at its Oct. 22 meeting.
The new bus service would start next year with the opening of the Gold Line Foothill light rail extension from the Sierra Madre Villa station to Azusa.
The staff report took into consideration that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation already operates a commuter bus service during peak hours in the morning and afternoon that follows much the same route to Pasadena.
One option considered was incorporating the LADOT Commuter Express Line 549 into the NoHo-Pasadena Express route and alternate trips during weekday peak times.
Another option was to have LADOT expand its service to include weekday mid-day and weekend service.
“This would have required them to adjust their route, stops and fares to expedite travel times and ease transfers to/from Metro Gold, Orange and Red lines,” the staff report said. “This became a difficult effort to accomplish in a relatively short period of time, and LADOT has indicated it is not interested in assuming more service to operate at this time.”