And then there were two.

Last week, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments held a series of community workshops to present concepts for new east-west and north-south bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, distilling two routes from 15 alternatives that were studied. Streetsblog reports that the initial phase of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Feasibility Study will also include other "transit priority corridors," which will see improvements that fall short of true BRT.

The two routes recommended for implementation over the coming 10 to 15 years include:

  • an east-west line along Valley Boulevard from Union Station to the Pomona Transit Center; and
  • a north-south line on Rosemead Boulevard running from between the L Line's Sierra Madre Villa Station and a future rail stop at Washington Boulevard.

While both corridors are intended as bus rapid transit, only certain segments of the two routes are expected to receive dedicated transit lanes in the short-term future - including the stretch of Valley to the east of Peck Road in El Monte and between Valley and Washington Boulevard.

Outside of those two corridors, Streetsblog reports that the two bus lines would travel with express service and limited stops - but in mixed-flow traffic. A number of alternative alignments are also being considered for the Valley Boulevard line, as detailed in the attached map.

The two bus rapid transit lines have been allocated $635.5 million from Measure R returns, and are expected to cost a combined sum of somewhere between $615 and $905 million.

$635.5 million have been earmarked from Measure R for transit improvements arising from this Study. The SGV Council of Governments’ website says “the […] Transit Feasibility Study was initiated following the Metro Board decision in February 2020 to withdraw the State Route 60 alternative in the Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 project to extend the Metro L Line (Gold).” 

Together, the Valley and Rosemead concepts are estimated to cost between $615 million and $905 million. That’s not counting if multiple east-west routes are built. Ogden said with the $635 million, “We can certainly do maybe some segments east-west, and some segments north-south […] we can definitely afford to develop this type of program in the San Gabriel Valley.” See the chart below of what is estimated to fit within budget.

Information provided at the community meetings indicates that available funding could result in up to 30 miles of bus rapid transit improvements, up to 180 miles of transit priority enhancements, and various upgrades to transit hubs and the purchase of zero emissions buses.

While the San Gabriel Valley project may not bring dedicated bus lanes to the entirety of Valley Boulevard in the short term, another project may still result in those improvements - at least within Los Angeles city limits. Funding from another cancelled infrastructure project - the 710 extension - is slated to bring bus rapid transit to the four-mile stretch of Valley between Union Station (via Mission Road) and Alhambra city limits.