- Refined Alternatives
- Upcoming Meetings
Metro and the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) are evaluating a possible north-south transit improvement primarily along the Van Nuys Bl corridor in the east San Fernando Valley that offers connections to the local and regional transportation network.
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is one of 12 Measure R Transit projects. Metro’s 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan reserves $170.1 million for this “first-decade” Measure R project with a scheduled 2018 delivery date.
The study is currently in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) stage. Six options are under evaluation:
- No build (required)
- Transportation Systems Management (required)
- Curb-running, peak period Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
- Median-running, dedicated lane BRT
- Median-running, Low-floor Tram
- Median-running Light Rail Transit (LRT)
It is expected that the Draft EIS/EIR will be available for public review in summer 2014.
The study was launched in 2011 as the “Van Nuys Bl Rapidway Study.” In October of that year, three community meetings were held to introduce the study and gather public input. Metro described the different transportation modes and route being considered. The modes presented were Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit and Streetcar. The route alignment traveled along Van Nuys Bl from Ventura Bl on the south to the I-210 freeway on the north.
Public comments at the time urged Metro to also evaluate Sepulveda Bl as a possible route and to consider the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station as an origination/terminus for the project. In April 2012, Metro announced that these options would also be evaluated and renamed the project the “East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor.”
In October 2012, Metro held another round of community meetings to share an initial set of eight alternatives that were being considered. These included the two required alternatives – “No-Build” and Transportation System Management – as well as four Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) alternatives and two Light Rail Transit (LRT) alternatives.
Alternatives Analysis Report
In January 2013, the first phase of the environmental clearance process was presented to the Metro Board of Directors. Known as an Alternatives Analysis (AA) report, it identified four alternatives for further study in the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report:
- No Build (required) – No new projects other than what is already funded and scheduled to be in operation through 2035.
- Transportation System Management (TSM) (required) – Lower-cost street improvements such as signal prioritization and synchronization, minor intersection widenings, as well as bus operations enhancements.
- Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Alternative – Operating in dedicated median lanes, originating/terminating at the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station, running along San Fernando Road, continuing along Van Nuys Bl with three possible southern origination/terminus options:
- Van Nuys Metro Orange Line Station
- Sepulveda Metro Orange Line Station
- Ventura Bl/Sepulveda Bl
- Median-Running Light Rail Transit (LRT) Alternative – Operating in a dedicated median, originating/terminating at the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station, running near San Fernando Road, continuing along Van Nuys Bl originating/terminating at Van Nuys Bl/Ventura Bl.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR)
In March 2013, Metro and the FTA issued a Notice of Intent/Notice of Preparation to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report. Four scoping meetings were held throughout the Study corridor to obtain input on issues that should be examined during the environmental clearance process. Over 250 comments were received from various stakeholders prior to the end of the scoping comment period on May 6, 2013. Some of the more prevalent comments received indicated community preference for:
- Light Rail Transit (LRT)
- Connections to:
- The future Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project
- Amtrak, Metrolink and future High Speed Rail
- Eliminating dedicated lanes along Van Nuys Bl, south of the Metro Orange Line
- Including bike lanes along Van Nuys Bl
- Full evaluation of impacts from any parking loss along Van Nuys Bl
Throughout summer 2013, the study team conducted additional technical analysis and considered comments received during the spring 2013 scoping period. In October 2013, staff presented the Board of Directors with an expanded set of mode and alignment options, as well as a phased approach for the development of the project. These will be evaluated as the Draft EIS/EIR continues into 2014.
Refinement of Transit Modes
In addition to the median-running BRT and LRT presented at the beginning of the Draft EIS/EIR, the study will also evaluate:
- Curb-running, peak period only BRT; and
- Median-running, Low-floor Tram
These alternatives are now being included for evaluation as they may achieve many of the project’s goals with fewer impacts.
Please review all the options being studied under the Alternatives section.
Refinement of Alignments/Phased-Approach
Based on Scoping comments and further technical analysis, Metro is now considering a phased approach for the development of the East SFV Corridor where an initial bus or rail project would be constructed for a dedicated right-of-way on 6.7 miles of Van Nuys Bl between the Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Road. This will allow the project to be developed first in the area where ridership is highest and transit speeds are the slowest. It will also allow time for the project to coordinate with other projects on the northern and southern end of the Corridor that would connect to this project.
If a BRT or Low-floor Tram project is developed, service would continue in mixed-flow operation south to Ventura Boulevard and north to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station as a part of the current project. If an LRT project is developed, it would be supported by feeder bus service to the north and south. Ultimately, dedicated right-of-way service for the project could be extended to the south in coordination with the future Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project and to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station in coordination with future High Speed Rail and enhanced Metrolink service when those projects are futher defined.
Southern Terminus Connection with the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project
Metro is now identifying the Metro Orange Line Van Nuys Station as the initial southern terminus of the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor for exclusive BRT, LRT or Low-floor Tram guideways. Mixed flow bus operations, including enhancements to current bus service, would be provided south of the Metro Orange Line to Ventura Boulevard for the BRT and LRT alternatives. The Tram could continue south to Ventura Bl operating in mixed-flow traffic.
Transit improvements along Van Nuys Bl south of the Metro Orange Line must consider a connection to a future transit line connecting the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles’ Westside. A variety of alternatives for a future Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project have been identified ranging from Bus Rapid Transit in High-Occupancy-Vehicle/Express Lanes on the I-405 Freeway to a full transit/highway tunnel extending under the mountains from the Metro Orange Line to the future Metro Purple Line Extension and/or Metro Exposition Line Stations in West Los Angeles, and possibly beyond. Per Board direction, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is being analyzed in conjunction with the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project for Public Private Partnership delivery method.
Northern Terminus Connection with Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station
Metro is now identifying the Van Nuys Bl/San Fernando Road intersection as the initial northern terminus of the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor for exclusive BRT, LRT or Low-floor Tram guideways. San Fernando Rd between Van Nuys Bl and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station is too narrow to accommodate a dedicated bus or rail guideway. Mixed flow bus operations, including enhancements to current bus service, would be provided beyond Van Nuys Bl to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station for the BRT and LRT alternatives. The Tram could continue onto San Fernando Road operating in mixed-flow traffic.
Before dedicated service in provided along this portion of San Fernando Road, future development of the existing railroad right-of-way will need to be considered. This route is planned for future High Speed Rail service as well as enhanced Metrolink service. Metro, Metrolink and the California High Speed Rail Authority will need to reach consensus about this stretch of San Fernando Road in order to provide for an extension of the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor in a dedicated right-of-way.
Friday October 11, 2013
- Similar to the Wilshire BRT
- Exclusive 6.7 miles of bus lanes on Van Nuys Bl during peak traffic periods between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd
- Mixed-flow bus service at all times south of Metro Orange Line and north of Van Nuys/San Fernando Road
- On-street parking could remain during non-peak periods or lanes could be used by cyclists
- Buses could bypass queues at traffic lights
- Up to 72 passengers per bus
- Typical stop spacing:
- One mile for Rapid bus
- Half mile for Local bus
- Approximately 25 bus stops:
- 16 in exclusive peak-period lanes
- 9 in mixed-flow at all times
- Can share existing maintenance facilities
- This alternative has been reintroduced as it may achieve much of the project’s “Purpose and Need” with fewer impacts than some of the other alternatives
- Similar to Metro Orange Line
- Buses operate at all times in 6.7 miles of fully dedicated bus lanes in center of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Road
- Mixed flow bus service provided south of Metro Orange Line and north of Van Nuys/San Fernando Rd
- Buses could bypass queues at traffic lights
- Would require removal of curb parking in most locations
- Up to 72 passengers per bus
- Station platforms constructed in median at approximate half-mile intervals to provide service to both Metro Rapid and Local buses
- Approximately 25 bus stations
- 16 in exclusive lanes
- 9 in mixed flow lanes
- Can share existing maintenance facilities
- Similar to surface-running rail systems in San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland
- Could use modern streetcar/tram systems being implemented in Europe and other parts of the world
- Electrical power supplied by overhead wire or through induction power in trackway
- 6.7 miles of street-running, semi-dedicated rail in the median of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd.
- Mixed-flow tram service would continue south of Metro Orange Line and north of Van Nuys/San Fernando Rd
- Would replace existing Metro Local and Rapid Bus Service
- Up to 250 passengers per tram car
- Operates at prevailing traffic speeds controlled by traffic lights
- Station platforms constructed in the median at approximate half-mile intervals
- Approximately 23 stations:
- 16 in semi-dedicated right-of-way
- 7 in fully mixed-flow operation
- Requires new rail maintenance facility required
- This alternative is now included as it may achieve much of the project’s “Purpose and Need” with fewer impacts than some of the other alternatives
- Similar to other Metro LRT lines (Blue, Green, Gold, Expo)
- Operates 6.7 miles in center median of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Road
- 1.5 miles below ground
- Metro local bus service continues to operate in this 6.7 mile section
- Requires overhead electrical power
- Stations approximately one mile apart
- Approximately 10 stations
- Feeder bus service operates south of Metro Orange Line and north of Van Nuys/San Fernando Rd
- Up to 335 passengers per two car train set
- Requires new rail maintenance facility
Since the close of the scoping period in May, 2013, the study team has refined the alternatives. Six alternatives will be evaluated in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report.
The Alternatives to be studied in depth are:
No Build (required)
Transportation System Management (required)
Build Alternative 1: Curb Running, Peak Period Bus Rapid Transit
Build Alternative 2: Median-Running Bus Rapid Transit
Build Alternative 3: Low-floor Tram – Median Running At-Grade
Build Alternative 4: Light Rail Transit – At and Below-Grade Median Running
Monday October 14, 2013
It is anticipated that the next round of community information sessions will be held in early 2014. The Draft EIS/R should be released in summer 2014. At that time, there will be a 45-day review period including formal public hearings.
Please keep checking back
Monday October 14, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions (Fall 2013)
Metro and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), are evaluating a possible north-south transit improvement primarily along the Van Nuys Bl corridor in the East San Fernando Valley that offer connections to the local and regional transportation network. This set of Frequently Asked Questions is designed to provide you with basic information about the planning effort for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project. It will be updated periodically.
1. What is the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor?
Measure R, approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008, allocated funding for a variety of transportation purposes including 12 transit projects. One of these is the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor that was also adopted into Metro's 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County. The project is currently going through environmental analysis to evaluate options for improving north-south transit service in this area. See question 8 for a study area map.
2. What is the process for studying this project?
Like most projects, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor must go through an environmental analysis consistent with state and federal guidelines. This process will eventually determine the project that will be built. For the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, this process began with an Alternatives Analysis (AA) Report, and is continuing with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR). At each stage of the study process, the findings and staff recommendations are presented to the Metro Board of Directors.
The AA Study concluded in January 2013 when staff presented the findings of that study to the Metro Board of Directors and began the Draft EIS/EIR. At the end of the Draft EIS/EIR, the Board will be asked to select a “Locally Preferred Alternative” (LPA) for further study during the Final EIS/EIR. At the end of that phase of analysis, the Board will be asked to certify the Final EIR and approve the project for design and construction.
The project is also following federal procedures for environmental analysis so the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is involved throughout the analysis and the EIS. The federal environmental analysis concludes when the FTA grants the project a Record of Decision (ROD). The FTA will consider that after the Metro Board of Directors certifies the Final EIR.
See questions 4, 6 & 7 for more information on the study.
3. The project is located within the City of Los Angeles and also in the City of San Fernando. What role will each city play?
Unlike the Metro Orange Line, where Metro owns the right-of-way, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is planned to operate on city streets. Therefore, the City of Los Angeles and the City of San Fernando are participating in planning for this project. As the project advances, both the Los Angeles City Council and the San Fernando City Council will be asked for their support.
4. When will this study be completed?
The full study is scheduled to conclude in 2015/2016. The components of the study are discussed above in Question 2, and are estimated to occur as follows:
- Calendar year 2013/2014: Draft EIS/EIR
- Calendar year 2015/2016: Final EIS/EIR
5. When will I be able to ride the new service?
This project is on a very short schedule. According to Metro's currently adopted Long Range Transportation Plan, if a project is approved, it is scheduled to be built and open for service in 2018.
6. What is an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR)?
The EIS is completed to satisfy federal requirements and the EIR is completed to satisfy state requirements. A combined EIS/EIR document identifies and analyzes the potential social, economic, transportation and environmental benefits and impacts associated with the construction and operation of the project’s “build” alternatives. It also analyzes and compares those to a “No-Build” alternative that assumes no changes beyond those already planned, and a “Transportation System Management” (TSM) alternative that incorporates low-cost capital and operational improvements to the existing transportation system such as improved bus service and signal timing. During the development of the Final EIS/EIR, it also identifies mitigations, if any, needed to address impacts.
7. What factors will be used to evaluate the various alternatives for this project?
The alternatives will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Mobility Benefits and Impacts
- Regional Connectivity
- Cost-Effectiveness (such as capital and operating costs)
- Environmental Benefits and Impacts
- Land Use Considerations (such as job creation, development opportunities, and quality of life improvements)
- Community Input
- Financial Capability
8. Where will the project be located?
The study will evaluate a project that will mostly travel along Van Nuys Bl between the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station and Ventura Bl. See question 12 for more information on the different routes being considered.
9. How was the study area determined?
Initially, various north-south routes in the San Fernando Valley were considered. After initial evaluation, both Van Nuys and Sepulveda Bl were evaluated as potential corridor routes. It was then decided to focus primarily on Van Nuys Bl since it is the busiest north-south bus line the San Fernando Valley, and the seventh busiest in the entire Metro system. Based on input received in early 2012, the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station was added as the potential northern origination/terminus for the project as it provides a connection to regional commuter rail service.
10. Will this be a bus project, a rail project or something else?
We don't know yet. That's part of what the study will evaluate utilizing the criteria discussed in Question 7.
11. What modes are being considered for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project?
Two alternatives must be evaluated as a part of any environmental analysis:
- No Build – No new projects other than what is already funded and scheduled to be in operation through 2035.
- Transportation System Management (TSM) – Lower-cost street improvements such as signal prioritization and synchronization, minor intersection widenings, as well as bus operations enhancements.
In addition, four “build” alternatives are being evaluated:
- Curb-running, peak-period Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Similar to the Wilshire BRT, high-capacity, clean-fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses would operate in exclusive curb bus lanes during the morning and evening peak periods.
- Median-running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Similar to the Metro Orange Line, high-capacity, clean-fuel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses would operate in an exclusive median right-of-way at all times.
- Low-floor Tram: Similar to surface-running rail systems in San Diego, San Francisco and Portland. Low-floor, electric-powered rail vehicles operate in a combination of dedicated right-of-way and mixed-flow traffic at prevailing traffic speeds controlled by traffic lights.
- Light Rail Transit (LRT): Similar to the Metro Blue, Green, Gold and Expo Lines, overhead electric-powered rail vehicles run in an exclusive median right-of-way.
See question 12 for information on the routes and characteristics being studied for the BRT alternatives, and question 13 for the Tram and LRT alternatives.
12. What are the routes and characteristics being evaluated for the Bus Rapid Transit alternatives in the Draft EIS/EIR?
Two configuration options are being considered for the BRT alternatives::
- Both BRT options would operate in 6.7 miles of exclusive right-of-way along Van Nuys Bl between San Fernando Rd and the Metro Orange Line.
- The “curb running” BRT would operate in dedicated curb lanes during the morning and evening peak period, and in mixed-flow traffic at other times.
- The “median-running” BRT would operate in an exclusive, dedicated busway in the median of Van Nuys Bl at all times.
- Both options would operate in mixed-flow traffic along both San Fernando Rd between Van Nuys Bl and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station and Van Nuys Bl south of the Metro Orange Line.
13. What are the routes and characteristics being evaluated for the Low-floor Tram and Light Rail Transit (LRT) alternatives in the Draft EIS/EIR?
- The Low-floor Tram and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Alternatives are evaluating operating in the median along Van Nuys Bl between San Fernando Road and the Metro Orange Line.
- The Low-floor Tram would operate at-grade in 6.7 miles of semi-dedicated right-of-way along Van Nuys Bl between San Fernando Rd and the Metro Orange Line where it would replace both Metro Rapid and Local bus service. It would operate at prevailing traffic speeds, controlled by traffic lights. It could operate in mixed-flow traffic along San Fernando Road between Van Nuys Bl and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station and along Van Nuys Bl between the Metro Orange Line and Ventura Bl. Metro bus service would remain in service outside of the 6.7 mile semi-dedicated right-of-way.
- The LRT would operate in 6.7 miles of fully-dedicated right-of-way along Van Nuys Bl with signal priority. Depending on the location along the route, it would operate on the street or below ground. Metro Local bus service would continue to operate in this area of Van Nuys Bl. The LRT would connect to feeder bus service along San Fernando Road between Van Nuys Bl and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station and along Van Nuys Bl between the Metro Orange Line and Ventura Bl.
14. What other alternatives are being evaluated?
As a part of the process, the study must also evaluate two other options:
- No Build: This looks at the study area in 2035 without any new projects. It incorporates existing roads, highways, transit services and facilities, as well as any other future projects that are included in the adopted 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan for implementation by 2035.
- Transportation System Management (TSM): This option considers low-cost capital and operations improvements to the transportation system such as improvements to signal timing, enhancing existing bus service, widening targeted intersections, etc.
15. During the Alternatives Analysis (AA) study, you were evaluating a project that was approximately 11 miles long stretching from the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station to Ventura Bl. Why have you reduced the project to just 6.7 miles from the intersection of Van Nuys Bl/San Fernando Road to the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line Station?
The study would still provide service over the 11-mile route between the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station and Ventura Boulevard however the exclusive bus lanes or dedicated trackway would only extend for the 6.7 mile stretch of Van Nuys Bl between San Fernando Rd and the Metro Orange Line, where transit is the slowest and ridership is the highest. Transit vehicles (bus or tram) would continue in mixed-flow traffic on San Fernando Road and south of the Metro Orange Line. Further extensions of the exclusive transit lanes beyond this area could be considered in the future once more is known about plans for other projects -- Metrolink improvements and High Speed Rail along San Fernando Road, and a future Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.
16. Why are you now considering curb-running BRT when you had previously ruled it out?
We are bringing back peak-period, curb-running BRT for evaluation as it may achieve many of the goals for the corridor with fewer impacts. Metro, together with the City of Los Angeles, is currently implementing peak period bus lanes on Wilshire Boulevard between Downtown Los Angeles and West L.A.
17. How is a Low-floor Tram different than Light-Rail Transit? And how are they different than a Streetcar, an option that had been eliminated earlier?
Low-floor Tram, Light Rail Transit and Streetcar are all different types of rail vehicles that are in common use throughout the world. The terms may be used somewhat differently in other areas of the United States or the world. Here in Los Angeles, we have generally used the term “streetcar” to refer to smaller, one-car rail vehicle that operates at street-level, in a confined area, as a circulator. Sometimes the term trolley is also used for this sort of a project. We use the term “light-rail” for many of the existing rail projects in Los Angeles including the Metro Blue, Green, Gold and Exposition Lines. They operate in a two or three-car configuration, can carry more people at greater speeds than a streetcar, operate at street-level, above or below-ground, with the tracks in their own right-of-way. Light rail cars in Los Angeles use high platform stations that must be constructed in the middle of the street or railroad right of way. A low-floor tram vehicle is somewhat smaller than an LRT vehicle but can also operate in a two or three-car configuration, carrying more people than a streetcar. Stations would be approximately at existing sidewalk levels so that normal sidewalks could be used for stations instead of high platform stations required for light rail. Tracks for a Low-floor Trams could be flush with the street pavement and could share the road with cars in certain segments.
18. How is each powered?
Bus Rapid Transit vehicles are powered by clean-fuel Compressed Natural Gas. LRT vehicles are powered by electricity from overhead lines. With a Low-floor Tram, electrical power could be supplied by overhead lines or through induction power in the trackway.
19. How much money is available for the Project and what are the funding sources?
$170.1 million has been identified for this project in Metro’s 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for Los Angeles County. These funds come primarily from the State of California’s Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP) and Measure R. The TCRP provided money for Metro to “build a north/south corridor transit project that would interface with the East/West Burbank-Chandler corridor project (later named the Metro Orange Line) and with the Ventura Boulevard Rapid Bus project.” See Question 24 for more information about Measure R.
20. How much does each build alternative cost?
Information provided during the scoping period for the Draft EIS/EIR in March 2013 provided very preliminary cost range estimates for a median-running BRT and LRT approximately 11 miles in length from the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station to Ventura Bl. At the time, the BRT was estimated at $250-$520 million and the LRT was estimated at $1.8-$2.3 billion. These estimates will be further refined as the analysis proceeds including developing cost estimates for a curb-running, peak period BRT and a Tram.
21. Why is there such a wide variation in the cost numbers?
Rail options such as LRT and Low-floor Tram are generally more expensive to build than BRT due to the costs associated with constructing tracks and electrical power along the line to operate the trains. Costs would also be incurred to acquire land and build a rail storage and maintenance yard for these new rail projects in the San Fernando Valley. On the other hand, existing Metro bus maintenance facilities in the San Fernando Valley could support the BRT options. The cost ranges for each travel mode can also vary due to the differences in the number of stations, forecasted right-of-way acquisition needs, grade separations, etc. The cost projections will be refined further as the analysis proceeds.
22. The alternatives all seem to cost more than $170.1 million. How are you going to build the project if you don't have the money?
Like all of the other Measure R transit projects, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor will likely need to seek additional funding to be able to be built in full. The project may also be built in phases to match available funding. These options will all be evaluated as the study progresses. As the details of the project become better defined, additional funding sources may be identified.
23. Are Public-Private Partnership opportunities being considered for delivery and operation of this project?
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is being evaluated for Public-Private Partnership (P3) opportunities as a part of the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project. That project is evaluating a future connection between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside of Los Angeles along a 30-mile corridor between the Sylmar/San Fernando Valley Metrolink Station and LAX. See question 28 for more information.
24. What is Measure R?
Measure R is the half-cent sales tax that was approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The funds are being collected over 30 years for transportation purposes including several new transit and highway projects around the County, as well as bus and rail operations. The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is one of the new transit projects included in Measure R. Measure R also provides funding to cities in Los Angeles County for transportation purposes.
25. I understand that the Canoga Extension of the Metro Orange Line was delivered under-budget. Can those funds be allocated to this project?
The Metro Board of Directors has the responsibility to decide how to reallocate additional funds that may remain once a project has been completed. In June 2012, the Board transferred some of the remaining funds from the Canoga Extension of the Orange Line to the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor. This did not increase the overall funding for this project but, instead, replaced funds that are no longer available due to previous shortfalls in the State budget.
26. How will the proposed East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project improve transit connections to the entire region?
The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor intersects with the Metro Orange Line that connects to the Metro Red Line in North Hollywood. It also connects with Metrolink and Amtrak stations that provide linkages to regional destinations. The corridor connects with the Metro Rapid 750 (Ventura Bl) and the Metro Rapid 794 (San Fernando Bl).
27. Is Metro determining where the greatest number of people need to – or want to – travel?
Yes, one aspect of the analysis will be to determine travel patterns in the study area, including travel to key destinations in the corridor and beyond. Community input from individuals and organizations will provide important information about key destinations. The study will also complete a "trip distribution analysis" to better understand travel characteristics within the study area.
28. How will the proposed East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project work with the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project?
The Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project is another one of the Measure R projects. This future project is intended to improve connections between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside of Los Angeles. Based on the current funding schedule in the Long Range Transportation Plan, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project is not planned to be in operation until 2039. However, Metro is exploring alternate funding scenarios, including Public-Private Partnership, that may allow a project to be completed sooner. It is not yet known what kind of project this future improvement would be. Regardless, planners for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor and the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project are working together to ensure coordination between the two projects. See question 23 for more information.
29. Will the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project look at connections beyond the San Fernando Valley into West Los Angeles and/or LAX?
Yes, the study will evaluate travel patterns beyond the Corridor itself. By evaluating travel demand outside of the Corridor, Metro will have a better understanding of the number of riders that would be attracted to the new service. Metro will be conducting a separate study to evaluate possible improvements for the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor Project, also a Measure R project (see Questions 23 and 28). The East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is considering this future project in its planning effort.
30. Will the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project look at connections into Downtown Burbank?
In the adopted Long Range Transportation Plan, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor is focused on improving north-south travel. A connection further east to Burbank would have to be studied separately. This would require direction from the Metro Board of Directors, funding would need to be identified, and it would need to be adopted into the Long Range Transportation Plan.
31. Once the project is built, who will operate it?
At this point, it is assumed that Metro will operate the new project. It is possible however that a private entity might become the operator, if this becomes part of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) and depending on how such an arrangement is structured. Please refer to question 23.
32. Will bike lanes and other bike facilities be included along the Corridor as part of this project?
As a part of the environmental study, opportunities to integrate bike facilities are being evaluated.
33. How will the location of stops or stations be determined?
Several factors are considered when determining station locations. Depending on the type of project, stations are typically located one half mile to one mile apart. The goal is improves overall travel time by allowing for greater speeds between stations, and less time stopped at stations, while also maximizing ridership potential by locating stations to facilitate easy transfer to east-west bus lines and is serve key destinations and activity centers.
34. Will on-street parking be affected?
Some of the options being evaluated may impact on-street parking in areas though it is too early in the process to identify specific locations or impacts, if any. This will be evaluated in detail as a part of the project's environmental analysis.
35. Will corridor businesses be affected?
Similar to the previous answer on parking, it is too early in the process to identify the effects, if any, that the project will have on businesses. The EIS/EIR will analyze impacts of the project for businesses in the area.
36. Will a new storage and maintenance facility be needed?
If a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is selected, the service will be supported with Metro's existing bus maintenance facilities though they may need some modifications. If a Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Low-floor Tram project is selected, a new facility would be needed to store and maintain the rail/tram cars. This will be evaluated as a part of the environmental study.
37. Where would a rail storage and maintenance yard be located and how big would it be?
The environmental analysis will evaluate possible locations for a rail storage and maintenance yard. It would need to be located within a quarter mile of the route in an area zoned for industrial use. It would need to be 10-15 acres in size.
38. How will a new transit system help the area economically?
A new transit system has the ability to create new development opportunities along the corridor because it will provide increased regional connectivity as well as increased travel options. It will also allow riders to conveniently access retail centers along the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, thereby stimulating increased sales revenues for local businesses. Opportunities for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) around stations can lead to providing service to residential and commercial projects, which in turn create job opportunities.
39. Why is it important that I participate in this study?
Community participation is a key component in planning any new transportation project. The environmental review process requires that public input and suggestions are evaluated. Your input will help us better understand the community's transportation needs and priorities. Please make sure your voice is heard by attending one of our community meetings, joining the dialogue online, or sending us your comments by US Mail or e-mail. See question 39 for more information on how to do that.
40. How will public input be reflected in the study?
Public input is an important element of environmental analysis and has already influenced the study. Based on comments received at earlier stages, the project has evaluated different travel modes, routes and origin/destination points. Public input will continue to be one of the factors used to analyze the alternatives being evaluated for this project. Public input will be summarized, documented and shared with the Metro Board of Directors. While public input is gathered throughout the study effort, there are two “formal” public comment periods.
- Scoping: The work on the Draft EIS/EIR began with a “scoping period” from March 1-May 6, 2013. During this time, the public was invited to provide input on the issues they suggested the study analyze. Input was provided in person during Scoping meetings and in writing.
- Draft EIS/EIR: Prior to consideration and action by the Metro Board of Directors, the Draft EIS/EIR will be released for a 45-day public review period. This is the time when the public can submit comments and questions for the record for further consideration by the Metro Board and for further analysis during development of the Final EIS/EIR, the next phase of analysis. Comments and questions may be submitted in writing and at public hearings that will be scheduled during this time. It is anticipated that the Draft EIS/EIR will be available for public review in Summer 2014.
See Question 2 for more information on the study process. See question 43 below for how to provide input.
41. What can I do to help spread the word?
There are several things you can do:
- Join our mailing list by sending your contact information to email@example.com.
- Follow us on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/EastSFVTransit) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/EastSFVTransit)
- Share project information with your network of friends, neighbors, colleagues and family
42. Can you make a presentation to my community group?
We would be happy to schedule a presentation for your organization. Please contact us through any of the methods discussed in Question 43.
43. How can I contact you to ask a question, provide input or participate?
There are many public participation opportunities throughout this process. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a question, provide input or send us your contact information.
- Please attend any meetings we host in the community at key milestones. We will let you know when those dates are if you send your contact information email@example.com.
- Follow us and participate on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/EastSFVTransit) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/EastSFVTransit)
- Call us at (818) 276-3233
- Send a letter to: Walter Davis, Project Manager; Metro; 1 Gateway Plaza, 99-22-3; Los Angeles, CA 90012
Monday October 14, 2013