The County Board of Supervisors voted last week (pdf) to finalize construction plans for the next section of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. According to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website, construction on the portion of the BRT near the VA Hospital will begin in March 2014, timed to follow the January 2014 conclusion of the Wilshire ramp project on the 405 Freeway (of "rampture" fame). Along the county section of the new BRT (at .8 miles, it's the shortest segment of the project), Wilshire will be widened from Bonsall Avenue to Federal/San Vicente for a new eastbound lane that buses will use exclusively during peak morning and afternoon rush hour periods. In the off-hours, however, the new lane will be available to all vehicles. Initial concerns over the fate of 30 jacaranda trees that line the median on Wilshire between Federal and Bonsall have been assuaged: the trees will be boxed up during construction and replanted when the widening has been completed.
Metro has yet to compile any statistics about the success of the initial, 1.8-mile stretch of Wilshire BRT that opened in June. A Metro spokesperson told Curbed today, however, that the agency is planning a study on the initial section, and will gather statistics in ridership and transit times.
The final BRT segment will traverse 12.5 miles of Wilshire Boulevard between MacArthur Park and the Santa Monica city line (excepting sections in Beverly Hills and Westwood, which both bowed out of the project). Average travel times for transit users is expected to improve by 24 percent, and transit ridership along the Wilshire corridor is anticipated to increase between 15 and 20 percent. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will lead the rest of the project's construction through Los Angeles city limits.
· Look what's next on Wilshire [Zev's Blog]
· The Rampture Tag [Curbed LA]