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Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne joined L.A. city, county and Metro officials on Sept. 15 at a grand opening ceremony for the new La Brea Avenue bus-only lanes.
The curbside bus-only lanes were installed in July and August between Sunset and Olympic boulevards. Primarily located in Los Angeles, the lanes traverse a three-block section of West Hollywood between Fountain Avenue and Romaine Street. The lanes were created to reduce transit times on La Brea Avenue, increase bus frequency and improve connectivity with other transit lines. The bus-only lanes are operational on weekdays during peak transit periods from 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.
Bass and Shyne were joined by Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, 3rd District, and Los Angeles City Councilmembers Katy Yaroslavsky, 5th District, and Hugo Soto-Martinez, 13th District, at the grand opening ceremony at the West Hollywood Gateway retail center at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. They boarded a bus that drove through a large banner as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony before speaking about the project.
“[This] really is an exciting day for Metro, for the Department of Transportation and Angelenos as we open the first phase of Metro’s newest bus priority lanes on La Brea Avenue. The La Brea Bus Priority Project is part of Metro’s larger vision to create a bus network that is reliable, fast and attractive to all L.A. residents,” Bass said. “The La Brea Bus Priority Project will bring speed and reliability improvements to Metro’s existing 212 Bus Line and in the city of West Hollywood, the Cityline commuter bus line. During peak hours between Sunset and Olympic, bus riders will now be able to travel nearly three miles of dedicated bus lanes allowing for faster and more direct connections to where they need to go.”
“While West Hollywood only includes a short segment of La Brea, we’re excited that we could work with our partners to speed up transit for the largely transit-dependent riders of Metro, as well as the city’s own Cityline commuter shuttle to Hollywood and Highland,” Shyne said.
Horvath, who formerly served on the West Hollywood City Council and as West Hollywood’s mayor, said she is excited the bus-only lanes are operational.
“This is a project that I was working on as a council member and mayor in the city and now to see it come to fruition in this moment is just so much joy,” Horvath added. “I am really, really thrilled.”
The bus-only lanes project is expected to increase bus speeds by 15%. Buses run every seven to eight minutes on the route during peak travel times.
“It’s great to be here to celebrate another priority bus lane that is going to be passing through Council District 5,” Yaroslavsky said. “What we’re doing here is part of a monumental effort to make our transit system more effective, our streets safer and our communities more livable. For years, there was a lack of political will or the funding to make a real impact, but this is how we start to change that. It starts by building the infrastructure mile by mile to create an environment where it’s faster to take the bus or safer to ride a bike, and we start to show people that it can and does work.”
“If we’re going to have a world class transit system, we have to invest in pedestrian infrastructure, bus infrastructure, bike infrastructure, because we can have it all,” Soto-Martinez said. ”Let’s celebrate this victory, because I know we have many more to do, more bus lanes and more bike lanes. Let’s make the city the world class city that it deserves to be.”
Metro plans to extend the bus-only lanes from Olympic Boulevard to Coliseum Street, providing a connection to the Expo Line. The bus-only lanes will also provide connections to the Purple Line Extension subway project when it opens in late 2024.
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