Visitors to the Sunset Strip may soon find it a bit easier to get around the area on weekends. The West Hollywood City Council voted on Monday to pilot a free shuttle service in the area, running between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, starting in March.
The service will last six months, giving the city time to assess the program’s effectiveness and to decide whether to continue it further.
The shuttle will travel west along Sunset from Fairfax Avenue before turning south on Doheny Drive and heading east along Melrose; it will then turn back north along San Vicente Boulevard to Sunset, where it will continue east until dipping down to Santa Monica Boulevard between Crescent Heights Boulevard and Fairfax; from there the loop will start over.
Meant to promote nightlife destinations around the strip, the shuttle will give visitors a new alternative to $30 parking lots and could keep more than a few drunken revelers off the road.
Staff initially recommended a route that would only extend south to Fountain Avenue on the eastern end, but as Wehoville reports, Councilmember John D’Amico proposed changes to the route Monday that would extend it to Santa Monica Boulevard, arguing this would provide better connectivity with popular restaurants like Laurel Hardware.
The change could add a few more minutes to the estimated 15 minute intervals between shuttle arrivals.
West Hollywood already has a similar shuttle service, called The Pickup. That shuttle primarily services Santa Monica Boulevard, where many of the city’s bars and nightclubs are centered.
The city staff report notes that, since the bars and entertainment venues of the Sunset Strip cater to a more touristy clientele, the new shuttle should have its own branding specific to the areas it serves. Of the $285,000 set aside for the project, $15,000 will be devoted to “brand development” and $50,000 will go toward the commission of advertisements to display on the shuttles.