The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and StreetsLA have partnered to improve bus speeds, frequency, and reliability during peak travel times along Alvarado Street with the launch of the first phase of a dedicated bus only lane.
“Metro’s bus network is the backbone of our transit system, and the NextGen Plan is our next step toward higher ridership, faster and more reliable service, and lower emissions,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “This next phase of Metro services sends a clear message to Angelenos: We hear your feedback, and are working tirelessly to make our system work better for you.”
As part of Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan and the agency’s Better Bus Initiative, Metro has been working closely with LADOT to implement a series of dedicated bus only lanes along heavily traveled corridors to complement NextGen in an effort to provide faster bus speeds through selected corridors. Phase two of NextGen was recently implemented and calls for the addition of hundreds of additional bus trips on weekdays and weekends, with a focus on adding much needed bus service during the mid-days.
To improve bus speeds, the first phase of the dedicated bus only lanes along Alvarado Street will run between 7th Street and the 101 Freeway. Once completed later this summer, the bus only lanes will run along a 1.7-mile segment of Alvarado Street between 7th Street and Sunset Boulevard, adding a bus priority lane in the peak direction from Monday through Friday during the morning and evening peak rush hours.
“The Alvarado Street Bus Priority Lane Project is an important step in building a safer and more equitable transit network for Los Angeles County, especially as it relates to this corridor, an area I am proud to represent,” said Los Angeles County Board Supervisor and Metro First Vice Chair Hilda L. Solis. “It will enhance mobility and safety for the thousands of people in the community, most of whom are low-income riders from Latinx backgrounds who use transit to get to and from school, work, businesses, and appointments along the corridor.”
“The dedicated bus lanes along Alvarado will become a real game changer for the region and for the way Metro serves this heavily traveled corridor,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We expect bus speeds to improve up to 15 percent and greatly enhance the customer experience through better reliability.”
Bus priority lanes allow Metro to increase service frequency and reliability along the corridor, improving mobility by moving more people without adding more infrastructure.
How the Bus Priority Lanes Will Work Along Alvarado Street
-Converts the existing southbound curb lane into a bus priority lane and extends parking restrictions from today’s 7am-9am to 7am-10am.
-Converts the existing northbound curb lane into a bus priority lane and extends parking restrictions from today’s 4pm-7pm to 3pm-7pm.
-Buses will run every seven to eight minutes during peak commute hours: southbound during morning rush hour (7am-10am) and northbound during afternoon and evening rush hour (3pm-7pm).
-No parking loss would occur during weekday off-peak hours (10am-3pm), weekday evenings (after 7pm) and weekends
The benefits for street users include reducing opportunities for speeding and unsafe lane changes. The project also maintains existing overnight street parking for residents along the corridor and provides quick and easy access for workers and visitors to jobs, businesses, and other locations along the corridor.
“Our collaboration with Metro yields results to reimagine mobility in LA,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “This new bus lane will make bus travel in this corridor more reliable and give time back to this community’s residents who overwhelmingly depend on the bus to get to work, school, and wherever they need to go.”
This project is one of the many recommendations resulting from the Bus Speed Engineering Working Group, authorized by the Metro Board of Directors and the Los Angeles City Council in July 2019. It is a collaborative effort between Metro, the office of Mayor Garcetti and LADOT to identify, design, fund and implement transit supportive infrastructure to speed up transit services as part of Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan and the agency’s Vision 2028 Plan.
In August 2020, Metro and the City of Los Angeles launched similar dedicated bus only lanes along 5th Street and 6th Street in downtown Los Angeles between just east of Flower Street and Central Avenue on the east. These road improvements and the special bus lanes, including dedicated bike lanes, span the entire corridor.
For more information on the Alvarado Street Bus Priority Lane Project, visit: https://www.metro.net/projects/alvaradost/
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is currently providing lifeline service for essential trips and frontline workers. Metro continues building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan.
Metro has proudly pledged to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Health and Safety Commitment Program to help ensure the safe return of transit riders as the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.