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Could Metro Build a Tram Down Van Nuys Boulevard?

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It seems like Metro keeps coming up with more options, options, options for the project along the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, which will link up Ventura Boulevard with the San Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station (it's already one of the most heavily-used bus routes). Metro decided a while ago that whatever form the project took, it'd run mostly along Van Nuys Boulevard. They'd also decided on either a busway (like the Orange Line) or light rail, but now their staff has gotten a little wild--they've released a new report on potential projects for the route that looks at light rail and a normal old curbside busway, plus a center lane busway and a low-floor tram that would also run down the center of Van Nuys. According to The Source, "trams are similar to surface-running rail systems in San Diego, Portland, Europe and elsewhere and platforms may not be needed."

The blog also notes that Metro's set aside $170 million for the project (which is funded through the Measure R sales tax), and that it "will likely be hard" to build any of the three best options (center bus line, light rail, tram) with that little money. If they want to build any of those, they'd have to look into other funding.

Metro staff isn't recommending any of these options just yet; the Metro board will talk about the matter this month, but won't make any decisions until 2014. The East SFV project "is supposed to open by 2018" (a more expensive option could take longer).
· Metro staff report refines the alternatives for East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor [The Source]
· Busway or Light Rail on Van Nuys? Metro Opens Up the Debate [Curbed LA]