The Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project is intended to further improve bus passenger travel times, service reliability, ridership of the existing Wilshire BRT system, and encourage a shift from automobile use to public transit. When implemented, bus passenger travek times are expected to improve by an average of 24%. Up to a 10% mode shift from mixed flow to bus use is projected. Based on the bus travel time improvements and associated ridership increases experienced with the Metro Rapid Program to-date, transit ridership along the Wilshire corridor is anticipated to increase between 15% and 20%. The project is being constructed in collaboration with the City and County of Los Angeles. The majority of the project funding is being provided through a federal Very Small Starts grant.
The project spans approximately 12.5 miles along Wilshire Bl from Valencia St on the east (slightly west of the I-110 Freeway) to the Santa Monica city line at Centinela Av. Of the 12.5 miles, improvements would occur on 9.9 miles of Wilshire Bl, including 7.7 miles of peak period curbside bus lanes. In those segments of Wilshire Bl where there are no bus lanes, buses would continue to operate in mixed-flow traffic during peak periods. The majority of the project falls with the City of Los Angeles (9.1 miles). It also includes a small portion, between veteran Av and Federal Av (approximately 0.8 miles, near the Veteran's Administration facility), within Los Angeles county jurisdiction.
A number of general improvements will be implemented as part of the proposed project. They include: restriping of traffic lanes, as necessary; conversion of the existing curb lanes to peak period bus lanes in each direction; upgrade of the existing transit signal priority system; selective street widening; curb lane reconstruction/resurfacing in select areas; and installation of traffic/transit signage and pavement markings, as necessary.
The bus lanes would operate during the hours of 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm, Monday through Friday only. Bicycles will also be allowed in the bus lanes. Vehicles wishing to make right turns will be allowed into the bus lane near the intersection in order to do so. The first segment of the bus lanes between South Park View St and Western Av is scheduled to open June 2013. All remaining segments of the project are estimated to be completed by November 2014.