Representatives from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority were aboard a new bus line Thursday morning to promote its use for commuters traveling between the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
The new NoHo-Pasadena Express Line 501 route, which started March 1, connects the North Hollywood Red Line subway station with the Gold Line in Pasadena. The Metro board approved in October a six-month pilot program for the new service at a cost of $1.2 million.
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian and Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian greeted passengers as they boarded the bus in North Hollywood and had time to talk with them during the ride to Pasadena.
Both Krekorian and Najarian serve on the board of the transportation authority, known as Metro. They were joined by Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes and Mark Hardyment, director of governmental and environmental affairs at Burbank Bob Hope Airport.
“We are happy we are able to make a connection not only between the three cities but between two major transportation hubs,” Najarian said.
The route will have six stops and operate every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours and every 30 minutes during weekday off-peak times and on weekends. The route will travel primarily on the 134 Freeway with stops in Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. The base fare is $2.50.
During the ride, Krekorian said he talked with one passenger, a software engineer who lives in Woodland Hills and works in Glendale. The passenger had taken the Orange Line bus to North Hollywood to catch the new 501 to his final destination, he added.
“The millennials who are working in and creating the high-wage, information-based businesses we want to see, they expect to have convenient transit,” Krekorian said.
Hardyment said Bob Hope Airport benefits from the 501 by creating an easier connection with the San Gabriel Valley area.
When Metro was working out the 501 route, it was cumbersome to include the airport along it. So the agency ended up providing a grant for Burbank’s bus system to connect from North Hollywood to the airport. That service operates four times an hour during peak periods, three times an hour during non-peak times from roughly 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Hardyment said.
“It works well for our passengers as well as a great number of our employees,” he added.