The Valley Industry & Commerce Association announced Thursday that potential improvements to the Orange Line busway would be moved up by five years to begin in 2019.
The improvements would be done only if a November ballot measure to continue a half-cent sales tax for transportation infrastructure is approved by voters.
Work on the Orange Line would include grade separations at certain intersections that would allow buses to operate over or under the cross streets without having to stop for signals.
The work was planned to begin in 2024 if the ballot measure passes but VICA, in Sherman Oaks, worked behind the scenes with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Paul Krekorian and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, to change the start date.
VICA has put a priority on getting more San Fernando Valley transit projects onto Metro’s list of what would be funded if the ballot measure is approved. In addition to improving the Orange Line, the group is pushing for light rail linking the Van Nuys Orange Line station and the Sylmar Metrolink station via Van Nuys Boulevard and a transit connection between the Valley and the West Side via a tunnel through the Sepulveda Pass.
“If adopted, the (plan) will give the Valley a much-needed transit infrastructure to accommodate business and community growth,” VICA President Stuart Waldman said in a prepared statement.