Getting to the notoriously car-centric wasteland of the Valley, and moving though it, may be a lot easier in the not-too-distant future, thanks to billions of dollars worth of transit options that are either on their way or in the early stages of actually coming to pass. The LA Register took a look at the projects (tunnel under the SaMo mountains!) and picked out the "unfunded, unplanned or unlikely" options so no one continues to be excited about them. The three projects that get the most attention (because they're actually expected to happen) are the express bus line from the Valley to Westwood, the tunnel under the Santa Monica Mountains, and either a bus, tram, or rail line along Van Nuys Boulevard. Even if they're in the works, many of the projects are still a long way off. For example, the tunnel under the mountains isn't planned to open until 2039 because the money won't even be available for at least another 14 years.
· A bus line from the Valley to the Westside that operates on the 405's shoulder or carpool lane: With the completion of the 405's expansion, there's more theoretical space for the 788 line, an express bus that would run in peak hours starting in Panorama City, going south along Van Nuys Boulevard, west alongside the Orange Line, then hopping onto the 405 for nonstop service to Westwood. There's no money for the project yet, but it's being studied and there'll be a report on it at the Metro board meeting this month.
· That tunnel under the Santa Monica Mountains: There are three different ideas about how the tunnel should work, the longest (and coolest) of which is a "21-mile tolled highway tunnel" and another equally long tunnel for rail. Metro's long-range plan projects the tunnel will be done around 2039—because there won't even be any money for the project for 14 years. Metro's considering letting private companies in on the project (or a Measure R-like tax bump), but the immediate next step is figuring out how much people would pay to drive through this thing.
· Something (train, tram, light rail) along Van Nuys Boulevard: As of October, there were five options to choose from along the wide street. Adding to complications is the fact that Metro's got $170 million for the project, but estimates say it'd cost about $2 billion.
· L.A. looking to spend billions to improve traffic [LAR]