Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
LACMTA Orange Line

LACMTA Orange Line

Discussion
Ask a question about 'LACMTA Orange Line'
Start a new discussion about 'LACMTA Orange Line'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Orange Line is one of two lines on the Metro Liner bus rapid transit
Metro Liner (Los Angeles County)
Metro Liner refers to bus rapid transit services operated by Los Angeles County Metro which operate on dedicated or shared-use busways.Metro Liner is designed to mimic the Metro Rail light rail services both in the vehicle's design and their operation...

 network in Los Angeles County, California. It operates between Warner Center
Warner Center, Los Angeles, California
Warner Center is an edge city in the Woodland Hills district of Los Angeles, California. It was built to relieve traffic to/from downtown Los Angeles, as well as generate jobs in the San Fernando Valley...

 in the Woodland Hills and the North Hollywood Metro Station in the San Fernando Valley
San Fernando Valley
The San Fernando Valley is an urbanized valley located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of southern California, United States, defined by the dramatic mountains of the Transverse Ranges circling it...

 where it connects with the Red Line on the Metro Rail light rail system for Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, United States, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area...

. The 14 mi (22.5 km) line uses a dedicated right-of-way with stations at approximately one mile intervals; tickets are purchased from ticket machines on the platforms before boarding to improve performance. The Metro Orange Line bicycle path
Metro Orange Line bicycle path
The Metro Orange Line bicycle path is a mixed Class I bike path and Class II bike lane that parallels the Metro Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California.-Route:...

 runs alongside part of the route.

The line, which is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is the California state-chartered regional transportation planning agency and public transportation operating agency for the County of Los Angeles formed in 1993 out of a merger of the Southern California Rapid Transit District and the...

 opened on October 29, 2005 with a construction cost of $324 million. It is well used with 21,902 average weekday boardings in July 2010 with vehicles at times full to capacity.

The route follows part of the former Southern Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company , earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually simply called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American railroad....

 Burbank Branch Line which had provided a passenger rail service from 1904 to 1920 and was subsequently used by Pacific Electric streetcars (the 'Red Cars') from 1938 to 1952.

Description


Because of its many differences from a standard bus service, the authority has branded the transitway as part of the region's network of light
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 and heavy rail lines. It appears on the Metro Rail System Map. Orange Line vehicles, called Metro Liners, are painted in the silver and gray color scheme of Metro Rail
Los Angeles County Metro Rail
Metro Rail is the rapid transit rail system consisting of five separate lines serving 70 stations in the Los Angeles County, California area. The new Expo line is due to enter service in early 2012. It connects with the Metro liner bus rapid transit system and also with the Metrolink commuter...

 vehicles. Likewise, it is one of the authority's two bus lines that have been marketed with a color designation rather than its line number (901). The Orange Line is rarely referred to by its line number, but it sometimes appears on documents and destination signage.

The transitway's color name, the Orange Line, refers to the many citrus trees that once blanketed the San Fernando Valley. The name was adopted in January 2004 by the Board of Directors. In the planning stages the transitway was known as the San Fernando Valley East-West Transitway, and later the Metro Rapidway.

Stations


Stations on the Orange Line listed in order from East to West, many of which have large, free Park and Ride lots some with 'paid reserved parking' (where spaces are reserved until a certain time of day for commuters displaying a parking permit purchased from LACMTA after that time, typically 11AM, the spaces become available to all commuters). The large parking lot at the North Hollywood Station fills by early mornings by inward-bound Red Line users and outward-bound Orange Line users.
Stations Connections Parking Date Opened
North Hollywood
North Hollywood (LACMTA Station)
North Hollywood is a heavy-rail subway station in the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It is located at the intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Chandler Boulevard in the North Hollywood District of Los Angeles. This station is served by the Red Line as well as the Orange Line BRT service...

Red Line
LACMTA Red Line
The Red Line is a subway line running between Downtown Los Angeles via the districts of Hollywood and Mid-Wilshire to North Hollywood within Los Angeles where it connects with the Metroliner Orange line service for stations to the Warner Center in Woodland Hills.The red line, which is one of five...


Metro Local
Metro Local
Metro Local is a bus system in Los Angeles County operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority . This retronym designation was placed to differentiate it from the Metro Rapid service...

: 152, 154, 156, 183, 224, 353, 363, 656
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 757
951 Spaces October 29, 2005
Laurel Canyon
Laurel Canyon (LACMTA Station)
Laurel Canyon is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Laurel Canyon Boulevard, and it is located in the Valley Village district of the City of Los Angeles.-Metro Liner BRT service:...

Metro Local: 156, 230, 656 n/a October 29, 2005
Valley College
Valley College (LACMTA Station)
Valley College is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after the adjacent college of the same name. The station is in the Valley Glen district of the City of Los Angeles, located on Burbank Boulevard and Fulton Avenue....

Metro Local: 156, 167, 656
LADOT Commuter Express: 549
LADOT DASH: Van Nuys/Studio City
n/a October 29, 2005
Woodman
Woodman (LACMTA Station)
Woodman is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Woodman Avenue, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route...

Metro Local: 154, 158 n/a October 29, 2005
Van Nuys
Van Nuys (LACMTA Station)
For the Amtrak/Metrolink station in Van Nuys, see Van Nuys .Van Nuys is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Van Nuys Boulevard, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route and is located in the Los Angeles district of Van Nuys...

Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid is a bus rapid transit service in Los Angeles County, California that operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by LACMTA. Two routes are operated by Santa Monica Transit and one by Culver City Transit...

: 761
Metro Local: 154, 156, 233, 237, 656
LADOT DASH: Van Nuys/Studio City
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 793, 798
776 Spaces October 29, 2005
Sepulveda
Sepulveda (LACMTA Station)
Sepulveda is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after nearby Sepulveda Boulevard, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route. Unique among Orange Line stations, Sepulveda's platforms are not located at the cross street, but rather about a block west of...

Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid is a bus rapid transit service in Los Angeles County, California that operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by LACMTA. Two routes are operated by Santa Monica Transit and one by Culver City Transit...

: 734
Metro Local: 234
1,205 Spaces October 29, 2005
Woodley
Woodley (LACMTA Station)
Woodley is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Woodley Avenue, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route...

Metro Local: 164, 237 n/a October 29, 2005
Balboa
Balboa (LACMTA Station)
Balboa is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Balboa Boulevard, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west transitway route...

Metro Local: 164, 236, 237
LADOT Commuter Express: 573, 574
270 Spaces October 29, 2005
Reseda
Reseda (LACMTA Station)
Reseda is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Reseda Boulevard, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route...

Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid is a bus rapid transit service in Los Angeles County, California that operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by LACMTA. Two routes are operated by Santa Monica Transit and one by Culver City Transit...

: 741
Metro Local: 240
522 Spaces October 29, 2005
Tampa
Tampa (LACMTA Station)
Tampa is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after adjacent Tampa Avenue, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route. The artwork at this station is by Sandow Birk. The station is in the Los Angeles district of Tarzana.-Metro Liner BRT service:Orange...

Metro Local: 242 n/a October 29, 2005
Pierce College
Pierce College (LACMTA Station)
Pierce College is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is named after the adjacent community college of the same name, which is located on Winnetka Avenue, immediately across Victory Boulevard from the station, which lies on the border between the Los Angeles districts of Winnetka,...

Metro Local: 164, 243 373 Spaces October 29, 2005
De Soto
De Soto (LACMTA Station)
De Soto is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is currently the third station on the Orange Line, counting from the western terminus. It is named after the adjacent De Soto Avenue, which travels north-south and crosses the east-west busway route...

Metro Local: 164, 244
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 796
n/a October 29, 2005
Canoga
Canoga (LACMTA station)
Canoga is a station on the Los Angeles Metro Orange Line. It is currently the second station on the Orange Line, counting from the western terminus. Buses began running on the transitway on December 17, 2006, and the station itself opened to the public on December 27, about 14 months after the...

Metro Local: 164, 165
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 796
612 Spaces December 27, 2006
Warner Center
Warner Center (LACMTA Station)
Warner Center is a transit center and a station on the Metro Orange Line. It is currently the western terminus of the Orange Line, but a proposed extension of the line northbound beside Canoga Avenue to the Amtrak/Metrolink station in Chatsworth would provide a second, forked western terminus...


(off dedicated busway)
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid is a bus rapid transit service in Los Angeles County, California that operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by LACMTA. Two routes are operated by Santa Monica Transit and one by Culver City Transit...

: 750
Metro Local: 150, 161, 164, 245, 645
City of Santa Clarita Transit: 791, 796
n/a October 29, 2005
Sherman Way Metro Local: 163, 363
Park & Ride Lot Summer 2012
Roscoe Metro Local: 152, 353
n/a Summer 2012
Nordhoff Metro Local: 166, 364
LADOT DASH Northridge
n/a Summer 2012
Chatsworth
Chatsworth (Amtrak station)
The Chatsworth Amtrak/Metrolink Station, sometimes referred to as the Chatsworth Transportation Center, is an Amtrak and Metrolink rail station in the Los Angeles community of Chatsworth, California, USA. It is served by both Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego and...

Metro Local: 158, 166, 167, 244, 245, 364
LADOT Commuter Express: 419
Simi Valley Transit: C
Santa Clarita Transit: 791
Ventura County Metrolink Line
Amtrak
Parking Expanded Summer 2012

Ridership


The Orange Line had 21,902 average weekday boardings in July 2010, and 20,593 in July 2009. Ridership has been lower during the economic recession. In September 2008, 27,987 average weekday boardings set an all-time record. At least prior to the recession, in many peak periods, coaches departed the North Hollywood station completely full with little standing room for riders wanting to board at points west.

Ridership continued to increase from the Orange Line's first full month of operation in November 2005 through 2008. Metro reported 548,111 boardings for June 2006, 652,875 for June 2007, and 679,578 for June 2008. This was an increase of 24% in two years. Metro's newer Gold Line (light rail) saw a 47% increase in boardings, while boardings on Metro's older, established light rail lines had modest increases over the same period. Studies of its use suggest that most riders are long haul and in fact travel east to or travel west from the Red Line subway service. This "extension" effect of Red Line service is more "traffic productive" than the more typical boarding and dropping off of a passenger along the bus line. Creating better service, with higher frequency or longer coaches on the Orange Line, may further stimulate traffic on the subway.

Level crossings


Collisions


During the first few months of operations on the Orange Line, there were collisions with cars at level crossing
Level crossing
A level crossing occurs where a railway line is intersected by a road or path onone level, without recourse to a bridge or tunnel. It is a type of at-grade intersection. The term also applies when a light rail line with separate right-of-way or reserved track crosses a road in the same fashion...

s about once a week. There were several injuries but no fatalities and in each case the driver of the other vehicle was determined to be at fault. The LACMTA has noted that the Orange Line had about the same accident rate as other bus lines in the city on a per-mile basis, and has stated more recently that the line's accident rate is "less than half" of the MTA's entire fleet of buses. The Blue Line
LACMTA Blue Line
The Blue Line is a light rail line running north-south route between Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles passing through Downtown LA, including South Los Angeles, Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, and Long Beach in the Los Angeles County; it is one of five lines in the Metro Rail System...

 also had a significant number of collisions in its early years and currently has the highest fatality rate in North America.

After two collisions in November 2005 and one car driver was critically injured the MTA issued a "slow order" for every driver of every Orange Line bus; until further notice, all buses had to slow down to 10 miles (16.1 km) per hour (15 km/h) while going through every intersection along the transitway, as opposed to the 25-30 mph (40–50 km/h) speed limit originally put on line intersections. MTA officials pledged that they would review any and all ideas to improve safety on the line and report back to the public in a timely manner. They also installed white strobe lights on the sides of the buses to improve visibility.

In December 2005, MTA called for the installation of red-light cameras at many of the Orange Line's intersections. As of May 2006, installation is still continuing, and the cameras are supposed to be operational by August 2006.

Some residents have protested aspects of the Orange Line, saying that the buses should have been painted orange to be more noticeable (instead of the silver scheme they currently have). Others have concerns that the transitway does not employ railroad crossing-style arms or lights (or grade separations) to prevent motorists from crossing that roadway while a bus approaches, relying instead on traffic lights and warning signs.

Capacity
There is concern that the Orange Line will soon reach its engineered capacity. During peak hours, the signaling system is designed to balance the Orange Line buses with vehicle cross traffic. Adding more buses would either require running convoys of two or more buses or shorter green times at cross streets. The other alternative would be purchasing bi-articulated 80 feet (24.4 m) buses as long as the state law can be changed or another exemption can be obtained from Caltrans to allow them. The maximum capacity of bus rapid transit lines and light rail lines are similar, but North American transit operators have little experience operating high capacity bus rapid transit systems.

The right of way


The majority of the Orange Line is built on part of the former Southern Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company , earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually simply called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American railroad....

 Burbank Branch Line right-of-way. The line had passenger rail service from 1904 to 1920, with stations at several locations including North Hollywood and Van Nuys. It had Pacific Electric Red Car service from North Hollywood to Van Nuys again from 1938 to 1952.

Planning, legal wrangling and financing


The right-of-way was purchased by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (later merged into the current Metropolitan Transportation Authority) in 1991 along with several other railroad rights-of-way across the Southland for future use in transportation projects. Transit planners had seen an extension of the Metro Red Line subway as the most natural option as the line ends at the North Hollywood station, the current terminus of the "Chandler" right-of-way now in use by the Orange Line - and a subway extension would provide for an efficient "one seat" transit experience.

However, with the MTA's decline in revenue from sales taxes due to a recession, the subway's high cost of construction (in the billions of dollars), and Federal funds even more difficult to secure, a subway extension seemed financially out of the question at a time when other planned rail lines such as the Eastside subway extension and the current Gold Line section from Union Station to Pasadena (later revived, but not as originally planned) were being permanently canceled and cut from the proposed system.

At the time, then-L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan
Richard Riordan
Richard J. Riordan is a Republican politician from California, U.S.A. who served as the California Secretary for Education from 2003–2005 and as the 39th Mayor of Los Angeles, California from 1993–2001...

 had suggested some type of "trench" construction in which to lay the rails to save money and extend the subway trains to Warner Center: "Some way to get it out of the ground," Riordan said, referring to a trench's much lower cost to construct compared to deep-burrow tunnel boring machine
Tunnel boring machine
A tunnel boring machine also known as a "mole", is a machine used to excavate tunnels with a circular cross section through a variety of soil and rock strata. They can bore through anything from hard rock to sand. Tunnel diameters can range from a metre to almost 16 metres to date...

s (TBM), and to address the objections of residents for any elevated line. However, local community groups fiercely opposed such alternatives and, in fact, any rail construction that was not completely underground.

Objections cited included noise and perceived danger to a large Orthodox Jewish community which the right-of-way bisects. Because Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

 prohibits driving or using electricity from sundown Friday through Saturday, those travelling to temple are compelled to walk and, while not backed by any studies, claim to be exposed to greater potential danger by crossing rails on foot, especially at night. Groups were organized and funded by the community in order to kill anything but a subway.

Prior to his 1993 conviction and prison sentence for accepting bribes, California state Senator Alan Robbins introduced a piece of legislation which prohibited the use of the corridor for any form of rail transit other than a "deep bore subway located at least 25 feet below ground." The California Legislature passed it as law in 1991.

In response, supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky
Zev Yaroslavsky
Zev Yaroslavsky is a Los Angeles County politician. He served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1975 until 1994, when he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He was preceded in both offices by Edmund D...

 promoted and Los Angeles County passed Proposition A in 1998, which prohibited Metro from using its county sales tax funding to build subways anywhere in the county.

With subway and light rail now legally prohibited, but with growing political pressure to use the right-of-way for "something," the only available, legal option to make use of the transit corridor was to build a busway - which was also strongly opposed by neighborhood groups who vowed to fight it.

$44.8 million of Proposition 108 money, (the Passenger Rail and Clean Air Bond Act of 1990) was used for the purchase of the right-of-way. But because this voter-approved bond specifically states that this money is to be used only for rail infrastructure and operation, the California Transportation Commission is entitled to repayment of said funds in current dollars unless the Orange Line is converted to rail within ten years of completion of the busway. This repayment deadline would be 2015.

Construction


Construction began in September, 2002. During construction the contractor experienced several delays: a dead body found tucked in a barrel along the alignment, and discovered toxic soil had to be removed.

In July, 2004 an appeal by a local citizens' group known as 'C.O.S.T. (Citizens Organized for Smart Transit)' was successful in convincing the California Court of Appeal
California Court of Appeal
The California Courts of Appeal are the state intermediate appellate courts in the U.S. state of California. The state is geographically divided into six appellate districts...

 to order a temporary halt to construction. They claimed a network of Rapid Lines
Metro Rapid
Metro Rapid is a bus rapid transit service in Los Angeles County, California that operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by LACMTA. Two routes are operated by Santa Monica Transit and one by Culver City Transit...

 should have been studied as a possible alternative to the Metro Orange Line. The legal maneuver was ultimately not successful in killing the project, but costs to taxpayers for the 30-day shutdown were $70,000 per day ($2.1 million total) to hold workers and equipment while the matter was resolved.

The line opened on October 29, 2005. Construction had cost $324 million ($23 million per mile).

Operation


After opening, the line was busier than anticipated. Ridership grew rapidly, exceeding predictions, and the Orange Line now operates at full capacity during part of the day. An extension of the line to Chatsworth began construction on June 23, 2009.

On December 12, 2006, Metro closed the transitway between Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood and Fulton Avenue in Valley Glen (at the Valley College station) to repave the transitway surface that Metro says is showing signs of wear. The closure was expected to last approximately two weeks to rebuild the busway's crumbling pavement. Buses were to be detoured onto surface streets during the closure. No similar problems have occurred with the track on Metro's rail lines, which cannot be detoured.

In January 2007, Metro began testing a new, longer 65 feet (19.8 m) bus on the Orange Line for a test during the summer as a way of expanding capacity on the line. The agency had to receive a special waiver from Caltrans to operate the bus for testing purposes, since current state law only allows the operation of buses 60 feet (18.3 m) or shorter. 65 feet (19.8 m) buses have a seating capacity of 66 passengers and can accommodate 100 passengers. Officials have also looked into possibly using 80 feet (24.4 m) buses for future expansion.

From early October to mid December 2008, Metro again repaved portions of the transitway to repair wear on some segments of asphalt and upgrade the pavement to accommodate future traffic growth.

Chatsworth extension


On June 23, 2009 construction began on a four-mile (6 km) extension from Canoga northward to the Metrolink station in Chatsworth. The LACMTA board approved the plan on September 28, 2006, and it is expected to be completed in 2012 at a cost of $215 million. This continues to follow the Burbank Branch railroad right-of-way.

Bob Hope Airport expansion


Another possible extension of the Orange Line proposed by transit advocates, including members of The Transit Coalition,http://thetransitcoalition.us is an extension from North Hollywood station to Bob Hope Airport
Bob Hope Airport
Bob Hope Airport is a public airport located 3 miles northwest of the central business district of Burbank, a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States...

 in Burbank, which would approximately go north on Vineland Avenue and east on Vanowen Street to the airport, to connect with the Metrolink station
Bob Hope Airport Train Station
Bob Hope Airport Train Station is an unstaffed Amtrak and Metrolink rail station at Bob Hope Airport in the city of Burbank, California. It is served by both Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego and Metrolink's Ventura County Line from Los Angeles Union Station to Montalvo...

.

Downtown Burbank Metrolink expansion


Another extension recently proposed is from the North Hollywood Station along Chandler Boulevard that would connect to the Burbank Downtown Metrolink Station.http://thesource.metro.net/2011/10/18/orange-line-bridges-are-they-strong-enough-for-light-rail/comment-page-2/#comments The 3.9 mile long arrangement would provide increased access to commuter rail as well as transit access to the pedestrian-friendly entertainment and retail district of Downtown Burbank at its new terminus. Proponents of this expansion also argue that the extended line could eventually serve as the beginning of a San Fernando Valley / Orange Line to Pasadena / Gold Line connection.

As of October 2011, both the Bob Hope Airport and Downtown Burbank extension options are being studied, in addition to other potential BRT routes in Los Angeles County.http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2011/10_October/20111019P&PItem6.pdf

Conversion to light rail


When purchased in 1991, the MTA originally considered the route for use as either light rail or a Red Line extension, and both of these ideas have been floated repeatedly by critics (see below). A rail route would allow longer vehicles, higher speed limits, and greater frequency.

Critics point out the possibility of converting the Orange Line to a light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system. The conversion would be relatively cheap – former mayor Richard Riordan described it as the "least expensive rail alternative" of the lines under consideration. http://transit-insider.org/master.html?http://transit-insider.org/chandler/page2.htm However, there are significant legal and political challenges. Metro is currently prohibited by law from converting the Orange Line to any form of rail other than a deep-bore subway. Due to a 1998 proposition, Metro also cannot spend the sales tax revenue form previously passed propositions, but can use revenue from subsequent tax increase propositions such as Measure R funds (conversion of Orange Line to rail is not included in any Measure R projects, but does include the "subway to the sea" along Wilshire Boulevard and other subway proposals) and other sources of revenue on deep-bore subways.

Many people have criticized the LACMTA for removing railroad tracks that were already in place for a significant length of the Orange Line's route, tracks which could have been revitalized and used as part of a true light rail system. This, however, is highly unlikely as in past light rail construction all existing rail is removed and new ballast and new rail with modern innovations such as continuous welds and concrete ties are laid in place that provide for faster, smoother and safer rides, and new tracks are placed a few feet from their original position to accommodate double-tracks and island platforms.

Incidents


On October 27, 2005, two days before the line's official opening, a motorist driving with a suspended license ran a red light and collided with an eastbound bus at Vesper Avenue. There were no injuries.

During November 2005 there were two collisions causing injuries. In the first a fare inspector on the bus was taken to a hospital for minor injuries after a 65-year-old female driver had an illegal right turn against a red light and struck an Orange Line bus near the crossing at Corbin Avenue in Reseda. In the second incident a car driver was critically injured and at least 15 passengers were injured when a 78-year-old woman ran a red light hitting the bus as it cleared the intersection; a witness said that the driver was talking on her cell phone at the time of the accident. After this second accident, the MTA instructed all buses to slow down at intersections and installed white strobe lights on the sides of the buses to improve visibility. They said that they would review any and all ideas to improve safety on the line.

Fleet


The large buses, which have been dubbed "Metro Liners" by the LACMTA, are twenty feet longer than the standard forty-foot bus, and carry up to 57 passengers, which is about 50% more passengers. The buses are articulated
Articulated bus
An articulated bus is an articulated vehicle used in public transportation. It is usually a single-deck design, and comprises two rigid sections linked by a pivoting joint...

 in the center due to this longer length. They have three doors for faster boarding and alighting. Vehicles have no fareboxes because the Metro Orange Line operates on a proof-of-payment
Proof-of-payment
Proof-of-payment or POP is an honor-based fare collection approach used on many public transportation systems. Instead of checking each passenger as they enter a fare control zone, proof-of-payment requires that each passenger carry a ticket or pass proving that they have paid the fare. Ticket...

 system, like the Metro Rail network.

Environmental impact reports and cost benefits of alternatives


On October 22, Metro issued a Revised Final Environmental Impact Report
Environmental impact statement
An environmental impact statement , under United States environmental law, is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act for certain actions "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment". An EIS is a tool for decision making...

(RFEIR) that concluded that the Metro Orange Line was superior to each of three Rapid Bus Alternatives studied in the revised report. The RFEIR studied:
  1. Three East-West Rapid Bus Routes Alternative (Sherman Way, Vanowen Street and Victory Boulevard)
  2. Five East-West Rapid Bus Routes Alternative (Sherman Way, Victory Boulevard, Oxnard Street, Burbank Boulevard, and Chandler Boulevard)
  3. Rapid Bus Network Alternative (as submitted by Citizens Organized for Smart Transit, this network of nine Rapid Bus routes would consist of three east-west routes and six north-south routes)


The revised FEIR examined the environmental impacts, costs and benefits of each Rapid Bus alternative and concluded:
  1. The Metro Orange Line would attract substantially more new riders than any Rapid Bus alternatives.
  2. The Metro Orange Line would result in the greatest system-wide travel time savings.
  3. The Metro Orange Line would maintain the most consistent travel time, which would not be compromised over time as the result of increasing traffic congestion.
  4. The Rapid Bus alternatives would all have lower capital costs than the Metro Orange Line because of their minimal construction requirements. However, because the Rapid Bus alternatives would attract fewer new riders than the Metro Orange Line, the Rapid Bus alternatives exhibit poor cost-effectiveness measured on a per-new-rider basis.
  5. The exclusive transitway operation of the Metro Orange Line has distinct land use benefits that would encourage transit-oriented development at/around stations and is consistent with adopted local planning documents.
  6. Operating costs for the Rapid Bus Network Alternative would be up to $10 million more each year than the cost to operate the Metro Orange Line.

External links