Years from now, a northern extension of Metro's Crenshaw/LAX Line could connect Hollywood with Baldwin Hills via rail. But while that project may be decades away from fruition, new plans could speed travel times for buses traveling between the two neighborhoods.
According to a presentation on the NextGen bus plan rollout scheduled for the September 15 meeting of the Metro Board's Operations Committee, the next corridor scheduled to add rush hour bus-priority lanes is La Brea Avenue. Metro and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation are targeting improvements along a 5.9-mile segment of La Brea between Sunset Boulevard in the north and Coliseum Street in the south. Plans call for both northbound and southbound lanes, replacing general travel lanes on weekdays between 7:00 am and 10:00 am and 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Curbside parking would be retained during mid-day on weekdays, as well as in the evening and on the weekends.
According to the staff presentation, Metro's Line 212 bus on La Brea saw more than 12,500 daily boardings prior to the onset of the global pandemic last year. Staff also point to potential equity benefits to bus infrastructure on La Brea, noting that 3 out of 4 bus riders on the corridor do not own cars, and 9 out of 10 riders are persons of color. Additionally, 3 out of 4 riders use the bus system at least five times per week, meaning that they are reliant on transit.
Metro is scheduled to launch outreach regarding the La Brea bus priority lanes in the Fall, and expects to begin the feedback process in either Winter or Spring of 2022.
The La Brea bus priority lanes would follow similar rush-hour lanes that have already been added to Downtown corridors including Flower, 5th, and 6th Streets, as well as Alvarado Street between Westlake and Echo Park. New priority lanes are also slated to debut later this year on Grand Avenue and Olive Street in Downtown.