A presentation from the November 4 meeting of Metro's San Fernando Valley Service Council offers an update on plans for a new bus rapid transit (BRT) line connecting the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The project, which is currently in its environmental review period, covers an approximately 18-mile corridor which spans the communities of North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena.  An estimated 700,000 daily trips occur within the project area, which includes the SR-134 freeway.

Metro is studying several potential alignments for the project which would make use of right-of-way along corridors such as Colorado Boulevard, Glenoaks Boulevard, Olive Avenue, Riverside Drive, and Lankershim Boulevard.  Various alternatives could route buses along Union or Green Streets in Pasadena, Broadway in Glendale, and Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood.

Buses would operate in within either side-running or center-median lanes, save for within the City of Pasadena, which opposed consideration of bus-only lanes in the 1.5-mile area between the Gold Line and proposed eastern terminus at Pasadena City College.  The new bus lanes, in addition to serving the North Hollywood-Pasadena line, would also be open for use by other Metro and municipal bus lines.

The completed BRT Line is expected to offer an end-to-end trip time of 66 minutes - a nearly 50 percent reduction from the current 2 hour travel time for buses along the corridor.  Buses would run at 10-minute headways on weekdays and on 15-to-30-minute headways during off-peak hours.  Metro is planning between 21 and 23 stations, depending on the chosen alignment, and anticipates 30,000 daily riders upon opening.

Metro has secured approximately $267 million in funding for the project to date between state and local sources.  A preliminary cost estimate contained within the project's draft environmental impact report estimates that the total cost for the BRT line is approximately $297 million.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, according to the Measure M expenditure plan.

The North Hollywood-Pasadena line will overlap with several other planned Metro projects, including a second BRT corridor planned between North Hollywood Station and Chatsworth and speed enhancements to the G Line busway.  Additionally, Metro has engaged with private developers to build a $1-billion office, housing, and retail complex on the parking lots which flank North Hollywood Station.