Engineering firm Fluor Enterprises, Inc. has submitted an unsolicited proposal to Metro that would accelerate the conversion of the Orange Line busway to light rail, according to a post on the Source.

Metro's Office of Extraordinary innovation is currently beginning a Phase 1 review of the potential public-private partnership on its financial and technical merit.  Fluor's proposal is the first received for the Orange Line's rail conversion, and comes as other private firms pursue similar arrangements that could accelerate the construction of light rail lines through the Sepulveda Pass and into southeast Los Angeles County.

The Orane Line, which opened in 2005, spans approximately 18 miles between North Hollywood Station and the communities of Warner Center and Chatsworth.  The Measure M expenditure plan, approved by voters last November, has called for numerous upgrades to the workhorse bus line, starting with a grade separation project that is slated to break ground in 2019.

A light rail conversion, somewhat of a holy grail to many San Fernando Valley transit advocates, is not scheduled to break ground until the far off year of 2051.  Metro has not stated exactly how much Fluor's proposal would accelerate that timeline.

Other potential near term changes to the Orange Line include electrification, the creation of a North Hollywood - Reseda short line, and replacing the existing Warner Center station with a dedicated shuttle service.