Friday April 29, 2005
Following a successful demonstration by Metro staff and the company PB Farradyne on Crenshaw Metro Rapid Line 710, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board has awarded the company a $6.7 million, three-year contract with an $800,000 option to expand Metro Rapid's bus signal priority technology outside the City of Los Angeles. Targeted corridors include Florence Avenue, Soto Street and Hawthorne Boulevard, which already benefit from signal priority where the lines operate in the City of Los Angeles, and the future Long Beach Metro Rapid line.
Metro Rapid's headway-based operation, rail-like spacing of station stops and bus signal priority technology, which reduces the amount of red signal delay, collectively have reduced bus travel times in Metro Rapid's Los Angeles corridors up to 29 percent.
"Metro Rapid has transformed bus commuting in Los Angeles, in large measure because of its bus signal priority system," said Frank Roberts, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Chair. "Implementing this technology beyond the city limits will extend the same timesaving benefits to our Metro Rapid customers as they travel through other jurisdictions."
The start of service on Crenshaw Metro Rapid Line 710 in February 2004 marked the first successful demonstration of signal priority operations across multiple jurisdictions, which included the City of Los Angeles. PB Farradyne served as the Countywide Bus Signal Priority Pilot Project's prime consultant.
As a result of the contract award, bus signal priority will be implemented in areas outside of the City of Los Angeles on four corridors, including Florence Avenue (Florence Metro Rapid Line 711), Soto Street (Soto Metro Rapid Line 751), Hawthorne Boulevard (Hawthorne Metro Rapid Line 740) and Long Beach Boulevard (Long Beach Metro Rapid Line 760, which is scheduled to start service in June 2006).
Florence Metro Rapid Line 711 operates through six jurisdictions in addition to the City of Los Angeles, including Inglewood, L.A. County, Huntington Park, Cudahy, Bell and Bell Gardens.
Soto Metro Rapid Line 751 operates through five jurisdictions in addition to the City of Los Angeles, including Vernon, Huntington Park, L.A. County, South Gate and Lynwood.
Hawthorne Metro Rapid Line 740 operates through five jurisdictions in addition to the City of Los Angeles, including Inglewood, L.A. County, Hawthorne, Lawndale and Redondo Beach.
Long Beach Metro Rapid Line 760 will operate through seven jurisdictions in addition to the City of Los Angeles, including Vernon, Huntington Park, L.A. County, South Gate, Lynwood, Compton and North Long Beach.
The Metro Rapid Bus Program debuted on Wilshire-Whittier and Ventura Boulevards in June 2000. Nine other lines were added on Vermont Avenue and South Broadway (Vermont Metro Rapid Line 754 and South Broadway Metro Rapid Line 745, December 2002); Florence Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard (Florence Metro Rapid Line 711 and Van Nuys Metro Rapid Line 761, June 2003); Crenshaw Boulevard (Crenshaw Metro Rapid Line 710, February 2004); Vernon-La Cienega and Soto Street (Vernon-LaCienege Metro Rapid Line 705 and Soto Metro Rapid Line 751, June 2004); Hollywood-Pasadena and Hawthorne Boulevard (Hollywood-Pasadena Metro Rapid Line 780 and Hawthorne Metro Rapid Line 740, December 2004).
The Metro Rapid bus program will reach the half way mark of a planned expansion to 28 lines with the debut of three new lines on Monday, June 27, 2005. The start of service on Fairfax Metro Rapid Line 717, Beverly Metro Rapid Line 714 and Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Rapid 3 line on Lincoln Boulevard will bring the total number of Metro Rapid bus lines to 14 and expand Metro Rapid service to 205 route miles.
The Metro Rapid program was selected as a semifinalist in Harvard University's 2002 Innovations In American Government Awards as an outstanding example of creative problem solving in the public sector.