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Metro Board will delay discussion of North Valley BRT

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Some Valley residents oppose the project

Orange Line bus in the San Fernando Valley
Like the Orange Line, the North Valley BRT would travel in dedicated bus lanes.
Jim Ellwanger/Flickr creative commons

Metro’s Board of Directors will delay voting on a planned bus rapid transit project in the northern San Fernando Valley—for at least another month.

The board was set to decide Thursday whether to begin environmental review on the project, and which possible routes for the bus line to consider in the process. But the item is not on the agenda for the board’s upcoming meeting.

Dozens of Northridge residents have spoken out against the project. Opponents argue that dedicated bus lanes proposed along Nordhoff Street would snarl traffic and reduce property values. They’re encouraging Metro to consider an alternative route along Roscoe Boulevard.

Metro’s planning and programming committee members opted last week to send the item before the whole board so that San Fernando Valley representatives who serve as agency directors would have a chance to weigh in on the project.

Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero tells Curbed that some of those officials won’t be at Thursday’s meeting, so board chair Sheila Kuehl—who represents as a county supervisor most of the territory that would be served by the bus line—elected to hold off on discussing the item.

It’s been a year of ups and downs for Metro’s bus projects. Last week, agency staffers told the operations committee that a pilot bus-only lane installed on Flower Street at the beginning of the month has been successful so far—drawing “no complaints” from residents.

Agency officials also aimed to install a second bus-only lane before the end of the year, potentially speeding up service along one of Metro’s busiest bus routes. But after two Los Angeles city councilmembers objected to one of four routes under consideration, that item was also pulled from a board agenda.

Sotero told Curbed in May that the report on the project was cancelled “out of an abundance of caution.” The project now appears to be on hold indefinitely.

The bus rapid transit project in the northern San Fernando Valley would run between North Hollywood and Chatsworth, linking up with the existing Orange Line rapid bus and a planned light rail line along Van Nuys Boulevard.

Metro aims to have both the bus and rail projects finished in time for the 2028 Olympics, and the North Valley bus line should be done far in advance of then—it’s now scheduled to open in 2025. Metro staffers said last week that getting environmental review underway as soon as possible would be necessary to complete the project on time.