Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke ground Friday on a project to improve bus speeds and safety on the Orange Line busway in the San Fernando Valley.
Improvements to the Orange Line, which extends between North Hollywood and Chatsworth, include gates at 35 street crossings and above-ground stations at Van Nuys Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. Installing the gates will improve safety and reduce travel times by allowing buses to go through intersections at higher speeds, according to the authority, also known as Metro. The project will also prepare the line for a future conversion to light rail.
The improvements are expected to cost between $320 million and $393 million, which will be funded primarily by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2016, and the gas tax increase that went into effect last year.
Attendees at the groundbreaking event included L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl; L.A. City Council members Paul Krekorian, Nury Martinez and David Ryu; California Assemblymember Laura Friedman; California Transportation Commissioner Yvonne Burke; and Metro Chief Executive Phillip Washington.
The project is slated to be completed by 2025.