• Overview
  • Refined Alternatives
  • FAQs

Metro and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in coordination with the Cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando, are evaluating the feasibility of a major mass transit project that would operate in the center or curb-lane along Van Nuys Boulevard from the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line to San Fernando Road. From there the proposed alignment would proceed northwest along San Fernando Road to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station – a distance of 9.2 miles.

Where We’ve Been

When the project began, 29 alternatives (i.e., routes and modes) were given consideration. After preliminary analysis and community feedback, in January 2013, an Alternatives Analysis (AA) Report recommended five initial build alternatives be studied further through the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) as required by federal and state laws. As a result of comments received at project scoping meetings and through a more in-depth corridor analysis, the study alternatives were refined throughout 2013 and 2014. Currently, there are two alternatives for dedicated bus rapid transit service and two for rail service, along with the federal and state required “no build” and “transportation systems management” alternatives.

Public participation has been a critical part of the study process and as such, Metro has hosted numerous community meetings to update residents, businesses, elected officials and stakeholders on the study progress and to encourage input on the refined alternatives. Most recently, in March 2015, Metro launched an outreach campaign specifically targeting feedback from those who work and/or have businesses along and near the Van Nuys Corridor.

What We’ve Learned So Far

  • Van Nuys Blvd has the 2nd highest transit boardings in the San Fernando Valley, following the Metro Orange Line.
  • On an average weekday, there are nearly 25,000 boardings on Metro buses operating on Van Nuys Blvd.
  • Approximately 50% of the boulevard’s boardings occur along a 2.8 mile stretch, between the Metro Orange Line and Roscoe Blvd.
  • In the same segment (Metro Orange Line to Roscoe) transit users experience the slowest bus speeds – where buses slow to approximately 12 mph during the afternoon rush hours.
  • 35% of the study area population is transit-dependent.

Where We’re Going

Metro is currently in the process of evaluating the alternatives and preparing the project’s Draft EIS/EIR document. The Draft EIS/EIR will compare each alternative and identify any impacts, as well as mitigation measures, if any, that may help o=set the impacts. There are a wide range of issues being studied, including transportation, parking, communities and neighborhoods, construction, air quality, safety and security, and environmental justice, to name just a few. As part of this project, Metro is also coordinating with the City of Los Angeles regarding Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Director Garcetti’s Great Streets Program. Once this document has been reviewed and approved by the FTA for release, the draft will be circulated for a 45-day public comment period.

Funding

The project has $170.1 million in funding reserved through Metro’s 2009 Long-Range Transportation Plan, which includes $68.5 million from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. Additional funds will need to be identified from other sources in order to cover the cost of any of the four transit alternatives under study.

Refined Alternatives Being Studied

In addition to the No Build and Transportation Systems Management (TSM), the following four build alternatives are being evaluated as part of this study. All costs listed are preliminary capital costs in 2014 dollars and are subject to change.

Alternative 1: Curb-running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Similar to the Wilshire BRT service, there would be 6.7 miles of curb-running dedicated busway and 2.5 miles of mixed flow lanes along San Fernando Road operating either 24 hours or only in peak periods with 18 enhanced stations. This alternative would cost $294 million.

Alternative 2: Median-running BRT

Similar to the Metro Orange Line, buses would run in a 6.7 mile dedicated median busway in the center of Van Nuys Boulevard, and 2.5 miles of mixed flow operations along San Fernando Road and would include 17 stations. This alternative would cost $402 million.

Alternative 3: Low-floor Light Rail Transit (LRT)/Tram

Similar to San Diego, Portland and European systems, this alternative would operate in a dedicated guideway in the center of Van Nuys Boulevard for 6.7 miles and 2.5 miles mixed-flow along San Fernando Road with 28 enhanced stations. This alternative would cost $1.3 billion.

Alternative 4: LRT

Similar to existing Metro LRT Lines, trains would operate for 6.7 miles in a median dedicated guideway with 2.5 miles underground. The trains would run for 2.5 miles on railroad right-of-way adjacent to San Fernando Road. There would be 14 stations, three of which would be underground. This alternative would cost $2.7 billion.


Alternatives

The study team has refined the alternatives that will be studied in-depth as part of the Draft EIS/EIR. The six alternatives being evaluated are:

1. No Build

No new projects other than what is already funded and scheduled to be in operation through 2040.

2. Transportation Systems Management

Lower-cost street improvements such as minor intersection widenings, street restriping, bus operations enhancements, signal prioritization, optimization and synchronization.

3. Curb Running, Bus Rapid Transit

  • Similar to the Wilshire BRT
  • Exclusive 6.7 miles of bus lanes on Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd
  • Mixed-flow bus service at all times south of Metro Orange Line and north along San Fernando Rd to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station
  • Up to 75 passengers per bus
    • Typical stop spacing:
    • One mile for Rapid bus
    • Half mile for Local bus 18 bus stop
  • Can share existing maintenance facilities

This alternative was reintroduced as it may achieve much of the project’s Purpose and Need with fewer impacts than some of the other alternatives

4. Median-Running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

  • Similar to Metro Orange Line
  • Buses operate in 6.7 miles of “bus-only” lanes in center of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd
  • Mixed flow bus service provided south of Metro Orange Line and north along San Fernando Rd to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station Requires removal of curb parking in most locations
  • Up to 75 seated passengers per bus
  • Station platforms constructed in the  median at approximate half-mile intervals:
    • Approximately 17 bus stations
  • Can share existing maintenance facilities

5. Median Running Tram

  • Similar to surface-running rail systems in San Diego, San Francisco, and Portland
  • Could use modern streetcar/tram systems being implemented in Europe and other parts of the world
  • Electrical power supplied by overhead wire
  • 6.7 miles of street-running, semi-dedicated rail in the median of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd
  • Mixed-flow tram service would continue north of Van Nuys Bl along San Fernando Rd to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station
  • Would replace existing Metro Local and Rapid Bus Service
  • Up to 250 seated passengers per tram car
  • Operates at prevailing traffic speeds controlled by traffic lights
  • Station platforms constructed in the median at approximate quarter-mile intervals
    • Approximately 27-28 stations
  • Requires new rail maintenance facility

6. Median-Running Light Rail Transit (LRT)

  • Similar to other Metro LRT lines (Blue, Green, Gold, Expo)
    • Operates mostly at-grade in center median of Van Nuys Bl between Metro Orange Line and San Fernando Rd
    • Operates 1.5 miles below ground between Vanowen St and Roscoe Bl
  • Metro local bus service continues to operate in this section
  • Feeder bus service operates south of Metro Orange Line and north along San Fernando Rd to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink
  • Station Requires overhead electrical power
  • Stations approximately one mile apart
    • Approximately 14 stations
  • Up to 335 passengers per two-car train
  • Requires new rail maintenance facility

 


Frequently Asked Questions (February 2016)

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Metro and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in coordination with the cities of Los Angeles and San Fernando, are evaluating the feasibility of a major mass transit project that would operate in the center or curb-lane of Van Nuys Boulevard from the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line, north to San Fernando Road. From there, the proposed alignment would proceed northwest on or adjacent to San Fernando Road to the Sylmar/ San Fernando Metrolink station – a distance of 9.2 miles.

Overview

Modes and Routes

Cost and Funding

Regional Connectivity

Project-Specific

Public Participation


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