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Metro Orange Line to mark sixth anniversary Oct. 29; line now being extended to Chatsworth

Thursday October 27, 2011

As the sixth anniversary of the popular Metro Orange Line approaches on October 29, work is well underway to extend the Valley's popular busway to Chatsworth to make important connections to the regional and statewide rail network.

The Orange Line has been a runaway success from Day One and is L.A. County's first Bus Rapid Transit line built from scratch to run on its very own right-of-way using modern, hi-tech articulated compressed natural gas buses. Average weekday boardings in September 2011 reached 26,883 boardings, near the record of 27,596 boardings set in September 2008.  Weekend ridership also has remained strong, with average Saturday and Sunday boardings in September reaching 15,327 and 11,521, respectively.   

Metro construction contractors are now building the extension of the Orange Line between Canoga Park Station and the Metrolink/Amtrak Station in Chatsworth. The station also serves numerous Metro and municipal bus lines.  The $215.6 million project, the first project identified in Measure R to begin construction, is anticipated to open in summer 2012. 

"The Orange Line has proven to be an unqualified success in providing fast, frequent transit service across the San Fernando Valley," said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa. "That success will continue as we expedite the second phase of the line's construction to Chatsworth, creating badly needed jobs and generating economic activity that is crucial to our region's recovery."

Ongoing construction activities are steadily transforming the formerly blighted, Metro-owned railroad right-of-way into a world-class busway that will include bus signal priority at intersections, landscaping, bicycle and pedestrian paths.

"The Orange Line the most successful busway in the nation and one of the most successful transit projects in our county's history," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who proposed and championed the project. "At a fraction of the cost of comparably sized rail projects, the Orange Line still delivers consistently high ridership, a trend that will continue as we extend the line further north to join one of the San Fernando Valley's major transportation hubs."

To date, the design-builder has substantially completed the final designs including street crossings, bikeway, stations, bridges, landscaping and other construction aspects. The project will include the construction of a completely grade-separated busway bridge over Lassen Street to separate bus, Metrolink and Amtrak trains serving Chatsworth Station.

Crews have graded the entire alignment and are now paving the main busway, curb and gutters.  The adjacent bicycle/pedestrian path has also been graded.  Crews have completed new foundations and platforms for the new stations planned at Sherman Way, Roscoe, and Nordhoff Streets.  Fabrication of all the station canopies is nearing completion and crews have started installing the first canopy at Roscoe Station.  Crews also have placed bridge girders and decks over two small bridges along the alignment.  Other street intersection work continues at various locations.

For more information about the Metro Orange Line, visit www.metro.net.


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