Tomorrow at 7 am marks the opening of the first bus-only lane on Wilshire Boulevard, with a 1.8-mile stretch, set aside for 720s and 20s, running from MacArthur Park to Western Avenue in Koreatown. The right-hand lane will only be accessible to buses, bikes, and cars turning right from 7 to 9 am and 4 to 7 pm. The $31.5-million Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit project is set to be completely finished in 2014 and will encompass 9.9 miles of street, signal, and signage improvements, which also include 7.7 miles of exclusive bus lanes, from Valencia Street near DTLA to Centinela Avenue in West LA. The lane won't run the entire 12.5 miles between the two streets because Beverly Hills and parts of Westwood opted out of the improvements. When all is said and done, the BRT should bring down cross-town bus commutes by 15 minutes (here's hoping Metro will someday install ticket machines at stops so riders can buy passes before getting on the bus and enter through all doors, like on the Orange Line). Drivers will be hit with citations should they travel in the lanes--other than when turning right--during rush-hour, but "a short transition period is being observed during which drivers in the bus lanes may be warned."
· New bus lanes to open on Wilshire Boulevard [The Source]
· Wilshire Bus Lane Archives [Curbed LA]