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Metro to Debut “NoHo to Pasadena Express” March 1 to Better Connect San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys

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Monday February 29, 2016

The “Missing Link” in L.A.’s Transit System

  • Take new express bus to Metro Gold Line Extension opening Saturday, March 5!
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is poised to launch its “NoHo to Pasadena Express” pilot bus service on Tuesday, March 1 that will provide L.A. area commuters with a better way to access rail lines and other key destinations in both the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The new express line will connect major transit lines in both Valleys: the Metro Red/Orange Lines in North Hollywood and the Metro Gold Line in Pasadena.  It will also make limited stops in Burbank’s Media District and northern downtown Glendale.  It will also provide a premium transit alternative to driving solo on the busy 134 Freeway.

“This new express bus provides a missing link in Metro’s existing transit network,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “Now it will be much faster and easier for Metro riders to traverse these two valleys without having to go through downtown Los Angeles. It’s the latest example of how Metro is revolutionizing transit by fostering better connections throughout our county.”

Also referred to as Line 501, the NoHo to Pasadena Express is different than other bus lines serving these valleys.  It will operate seven days a week with high frequency – every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak periods so riders can reliably depend on getting to and from their destinations. Other bus services in this corridor only run during weekday peak periods and do not operate on weekends.

“The new express line provides commuters in both Valleys a convenient way to travel between the Metro Red/Orange Lines in North Hollywood and the Metro Gold Line in Pasadena with stops at the Burbank Media District and North Downtown Glendale,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, a Metro Board Member.  “Combined with a bus transfer at North Hollywood to Bob Hope Airport, this pilot project is the next step in our regional approach to a providing all county residents with a multi-modal system of buses, light rail, commuter rail and airports.”

The express bus will utilize the carpool lanes on the 134 freeway, the main freeway connector between the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, which can save commuters time, particularly during off-peak hours.  Travel times between North Hollywood and Pasadena are expected to be approximately 50 minutes during peak traffic times, but approximately 35 to 40 minutes during off-peak periods.

“By design, this express bus was created specifically to solve the problem that vexes our multi-modal transit riders.  It connects bus, light rail, commuter rail and airport travelers via Bob Hope Airport,” said Ara Najarian, Glendale Mayor and Metro Board Member.  “If this line is successful, it could provide the justification we need to consider even greater transit investments in this corridor.  I encourage cross-Valley commuters to try the 501 and see for themselves how it can make their transit experience better than ever before.”

Line 501 will make six station stops: NoHo Station, Hollywood Way and Olive Avenue in Burbank, Buena Vista Street and Alameda Avenue in Burbank, Goode Avenue and Brand (westbound) and Sanchez and Brand (eastbound in Glendale) and the Gold Line’s Memorial Park and Del Mar Stations in Pasadena.  Service will operate Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.  Weekend service will run from 6:30 am until 9 p.m. 

“The NoHo-Pasadena Express eases congestion, connects communities, and links workers to jobs,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Second Vice Chair Eric Garcetti. “Creating new options to connect residents to the places and people they love is part of our mission to keep this city on the move. I am proud we have found one more way to do just that.”

The new line also provides convenient connections to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Disney Studios, and Embassy Suites by Hilton. All of these businesses have thousands of employees, and could benefit by encouraging workers, customers and patients alike to utilize the new express service. 

San Fernando Valley residents interested in attending the opening of the Metro Gold Line Extension, an 11.5-mile extension of rail service between eastern Pasadena and Azusa, are strongly encouraged to take the NoHo to Pasadena Express on Saturday, March 5.  Metro will be providing free rides on the Metro Gold Line from noon to midnight.

“Metro is doing exactly what’s needed by expanding valley to valley transit options in smart and efficient ways,” said Paul Krekorian, Metro Board Member and Los Angeles City Councilmember, who represents the North Hollywood area. “This new express line will serve thousands of riders in North Hollywood and beyond by providing yet another way to get around the San Fernando Valley and creating a critical connection with rail and bus lines in the San Gabriel Valley.”

The line will be evaluated as a six-month pilot project that is expected to cost $1.2 million to operate. After six months, Metro will review ridership and determine if the service requires any changes.  The line is expected to carry at least 1,750 riders daily. The base fare is $2.50.  Transit riders can use their TAP cards to get two-hour free transfers to other Metro lines.

Other municipal bus operators connecting with the line include the following:

Burbank Bob Hope Airport and Santa Clarita Connections

The Burbank Bus NoHo provides easy weekday connection to the Burbank Bob Hope Airport to Airport Shuttle, located at Bay 6. The airport shuttle operates every 15 to 20 minutes, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the fare is $1 or free with an EZ Pass. For weekend travel information on connections to the airport, go to www.burbankbus.org/noho-to-airport.

Transfer to Santa Clarita Transit Line 757 on Lankershim Boulevard for a non-stop commute to various destinations in Santa Clarita.  Please visit www.santaclaritatransit.com for more information on Santa Clarita routes, fares, and current bus schedules.

Downtown Burbank Connections

Take Metro Line 155 or Burbank Bus’ Metrolink/Media District route at the northeast corner of Buena Vista Street and Alameda Avenue to connect to downtown Burbank and other nearby destinations. Burbank Bus regular fare is $1 or free with an EZ Pass. For more information about Burbank Bus routes, fare and bus schedules, please visit www.burbankbus.org.

Glendale Community Connections

Transfer to Metro Line 92 or Glendale Beeline Routes 1, 2 and 11 (peak hours only) on Brand Boulevard, just north of Goode Avenue, to connect to various destinations in Glendale including Glendale Galleria and The Americana at Brand. Beeline regular fare is $1 or free with an EZ Pass. Glendale Beeline accepts interagency transfers from Metro. For more information about Glendale Beeline routes, fare and bus schedules, please visit www.glendalebeeline.com.

Local Pasadena Connections

Connections to the Metro Gold Line can be made at Memorial Park and Del Mar Stations. Take Metro Lines 177, 180/181, 256, 260, 267, 686, 687, 762, 780, Foothill Lines 187, 690, and Pasadena Transit Lines 10, 20, 40, 51, and 51 to local destinations throughout Pasadena and beyond. Pasadena Transit regular fare is 75¢ and Foothill Transit fare is $1.25. For more information about Pasadena Transit and Foothill Transit routes, fare and bus schedules, please visit www.cityofpasadena.net/pasadena-transit/ and www.foothilltransit.org.

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