Tuesday September 06, 2005
Official Opening Date for Metro Orange Line set for Oct. 29
Heralding a new era in transit service for the San Fernando Valley, Metro plans to officially open the Metro Orange Line Saturday, Oct. 29 to free public rides and festive community celebrations.
The new 14-mile transitway will start across the street from the terminus of the Metro Red Line subway in North Hollywood and pass through the communities of Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Encino, and Tarzana to Warner Center in Woodland Hills, offering Valley commuters a time and money-saving commuting alternative to the 101 Freeway.
“The opening of the Metro Orange Line represents a milestone for the citizens of the San Fernando Valley, who have waited decades for an innovative transportation solution to help relieve some of the most congested freeway corridors in the country,” said Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles and Chairman of the Metro Board of Directors. “With gasoline prices spiking to $3 and more per gallon, the Orange Line will arrive just in time to help Valley commuters save money and commute time. I urge all Angelenos to join me in riding the Metro Orange Line and the entire Metro Bus and Rail System whenever possible.”
The public will get their first opportunity to ride the new line for free Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29-30, where opening weekend service will be frequent.
“I and many San Fernando Valley citizens have dedicated the better part of the last seven years to bringing this transit project to a successful conclusion,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor. “This is an L.A. solution to an L.A. traffic problem. When the Orange Line succeeds — as I know it will — it will serve as a region-wide model that offers commuters a quick, reliable, flexible and inexpensive alternative to gridlock.”
On Saturday, community celebrations are planned between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at several stations along the route including the North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Balboa, Pierce College, and Warner Center stations. No community events are scheduled on Sunday.
The opening of the transitway will mark the debut of the 60-foot Metro Liner, a custom-built, articulated bus that can seat up to 57 passengers. These advanced, aerodynamically designed vehicles provide quick and easy boarding, a roomy interior, full accessibility and automated station announcement system.
“The Metro Orange Line will bring quicker, more efficient bus service to Valley commuters and easier access to the expansive, countywide Metro Bus and Rail system," said Roger Snoble, CEO of Metro. “We encourage everyone to jump on-board and experience the Valley’s new shortcut for themselves.”
The Orange Line, the first of its kind transitway project in Southern California, began construction in January 2003 and incorporates a host of innovative construction and design features, from advanced traffic light signal priority system to artistically designed transit stations, park & ride lots with more than 3,000 parking spaces, bicycle and pedestrian paths and California native landscaping.
Ridership on the line is expected to reach an average of 22,000 boardings per day by 2020, providing access to business and education centers, arts and theater venues, neighborhoods, entertainment, attractions and the natural environment.
Following free rides opening weekend, Metro Orange Line fares will be $1.25 for one-way trips, or $3 for a Metro Day Pass that allows unlimited local access on both the Metro Bus and Rail System from the time of purchase until 3 a.m the next day. Weekly and monthly transit passes are $14 and $52, respectively. One-way and day pass fares can be purchased at station ticket vending machines. Monthly passes can be purchased on Metro’s web site at www.metro.net and at various retail outlets.
For more information on the Metro Orange Line, visit www.metro.net/orangeline.