Earlier this month, Governor Brown lifted a ban on at-grade rail in parts of the San Fernando Valley (it had been illegal!), and ever since Metro's been moving fast to explore major transit improvements along the wildly popular Orange Line busway and in the Valley in general. It's now considering some very big-deal projects: a conversion of the Orange Line to light rail, and then a connection from the Orange Line to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and on to the Gold Line to Pasadena (and eventually Azusa, and maybe Montclair), as well as a Red Line connection to Bob Hope. Daaaaaamn! Next week, the Metro board will consider a committee motion to explore all these options and to possibly add them to Metro's Long Range Transit Plan, The Source reports. If the proposals move to the LRTP, they could get a little closer to reality should voters pass an extension of 2008's Measure R transit/freeway tax, or an entirely new transportation tax, in 2016 (neither of which have been formally proposed yet).
The studies for improvements to the Orange Line will look at:
· adding more articulated buses
· converting the line to light rail
· signal prioritization
· grade-separating part of the line
· adding these options to the LRTP
Metro may also establish the San Fernando/San Gabriel Valley High Capacity Transit Corridor, which could include:
· connecting the Gold Line to Bob Hope Airport's Regional Intermodal Transportation Center, then to the North Hollywood Orange Line terminus, allowing trains to travel all the way from Azusa (or Montclair) to Warner Center if the Orange Line is converted to rail
· connecting the Red Line to Burbank Airport
· building a busway from the Orange Line to the Gold Line
· adding whatever is chosen to the LRTP
Metro is going to take a deeper look at all projects considered for the LRTP, The Source reports, and work to better prioritize the ones that will help the most people, not just serve as prizes to politicians and voting blocs.
· Motion asks for study of upgrading Orange Line and possibly connecting to Pasadena [The Source]
· It's Now Legal to Build Light Rail in the San Fernando Valley [Curbed LA]