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October 28, 2005 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Metro joins elected officials in dedication of new 14-mile Metro Orange Line

  • Public grand opening is Saturday, Oct. 29

Metro joined a host of local, state and federal officials today in the San Fernando Valley to officially dedicate the opening of the North Hollywood to Woodland Hills Metro Orange Line. The 14-mile exclusive transitway opens to the public Saturday, Oct. 29 and links the communities of North Hollywood, Valley Village, Valley Glen, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Winnetka and Woodland Hills.

"The opening of the Metro Orange Line represents a transit milestone for residents of the San Fernando Valley who have waited decades for an alternative to the perpetually congested 101 Freeway," said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa. "This innovative service is the right tool at the right time, one that brings to bear a wealth of innovation and technology to ease Valley traffic. The Metro Orange Line is both cost-effective and a superior transit solution that is sure to reshape the mobility of L.A. County for the better."

The transitway is essentially an extension of the Metro Red Line, which expands access in the Valley to Metro's 73-mile Metro Rail system that crisscrosses portions of Los Angeles County from Long Beach to Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Norwalk, Hollywood, Universal City, and Pasadena. More than 20 Metro Local Bus Lines as well as other municipal bus operators will connect with the Metro Orange Line.

"The Metro Orange Line is the Valley's new shortcut," said Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, who is credited with spearheading development of the line. "The Metro Orange Line may well be the way Los Angeles addresses its public transit challenges in the years ahead. It is inexpensive, comfortable, fast, dependable and quiet. I am convinced that it's the alternative to freeway congestion that Angelenos have been looking for."

Free rides will be offered on the Metro Orange Line this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, and there will be free community festivities between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m on Saturday at several stations along the Metro Orange Line alignment. Those stations include North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Balboa, DeSoto and Warner Center stations. No community events are scheduled on Sunday.

Ridership on the Metro Orange Line is expected to grow steadily, reaching 22,000 average weekday boarding passengers by 2020. The line was constructed by Shimmick/Obayashi in two and a half years. Metro is now planning to build another station and 800-space park & ride lot in Canoga Park within a year to accommodate commuters at the western end of the transitway. Total project costs, including transitway, buses, bicycle/pedestrian paths, landscaping and future construction of the Canoga Park station and park & ride lot is $349.6 million.

The new transitway represents many firsts for Los Angeles County: it is the region's first right-of-way built exclusively for buses. It is the Valley's first major transit service since the extension of the Metro Red Line into North Hollywood in 2000. It is also the first time that new custom-designed, high-tech "Metro Liner" buses will be placed into service within Los Angeles County. The 60-foot, 57-passenger Metro Liners were built from the ground up with rail-like amenities such as multiple entry doors for easier boarding and alighting, a roomy interior, full accessability and automated station announcement system. Artistically designed stations also have rail-like amenities such as shade-producing canopies, ticket vending machines, 24-hour video surveillance with passenger assistance telephones, lighting, seating, public address system and public telephones.

"The rest of the nation is watching how a city as congested as Los Angeles can implement innovative Bus Rapid Transit technology," said Roger Snoble, Metro CEO. "The Metro Orange Line is truly a historic opportunity for us to prove the feasibility of operating high-capacity transit buses along their own exclusive right-of-way. Metro is proud to be among the first transit agencies in the country to introduce this exciting new service."

The transitway incorporates a host of other innovative construction and design features, from advanced traffic light signal priority system to five park & ride lots with more than 3,200 free parking spaces, bicycle and pedestrian paths. Metro has also planted extensive landscaping along the transitway, including more than 800,000 plants, 5,000 trees and six lanscape art areas.

The 14-mile Metro Orange Line has 13 stations and will operate buses every five to six minutes on weekdays during peak morning and afternoon rush hours. Buses will then operate every 10-15 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes during the late night and early morning hours. On weekends, buses will operate about every 10-20 minutes. The hours of operation will be from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. Schedules are closely coordinated with Metro Red Line operating hours.

Fares for the Metro Orange Line will be the same as all Metro-operated Metro Bus and Rail Lines, costing only $1.25 one-way, $3 for an all-day pass, and $52 for a monthly pass. Reduced fares are available for students and seniors, who can call (213) 680-0054 for additional information.

The Metro Orange Line will provide commuters, students, tourists and others easy, convenient access to a major job center, shopping, schools, entertainment, government center, hospitals, recreation areas and more. The eastern end of the Metro Orange Line begins in the NoHo Arts District, a thriving Valley arts hub home to theatres, restaurants, art venues and more. Major destinations available along the line include Valley College, Van Nuys Civic Center, Woodley Lake Golf Course, the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, Lake Balboa Park, and Pierce College. The western end of the line serves Warner Center, the third-largest employment center in Los Angeles County. Dining and shopping destinations at Warner Center Station include Westfield Promenade and Westfield Topanga.

For more information on the Metro Orange Line, visit www.metro.net/presskit. For additional information about Metro Bus and Rail services, visit www.metro.net or call 1-800-commute.

Metro-159

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