A rapid bus line between Pasadena and North Hollywood could be one of the first projects paid for by Measure M, Metro’s half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters last November.
An express bus already runs between the two cities, meant to close the loop between the Gold Line in Pasadena and the Red and Orange Lines in North Hollywood. The ride on the Metro 501 bus now takes about 45 minutes - stopping in Burbank and Glendale in between.
The new proposed bus rapid transit plan calls for building bus-only lanes for much of the route, which could have additional stops and an even faster commute. Construction could cost between about $120 million and $450 million. Groundbreaking could begin as soon as 2020.
Every day people make about 700,000 car trips in the area between North Hollywood and Pasadena, the vast majority of them solo drivers.
Metro hopes to convert some of those drivers to transit, with a bus service that would hit major destinations and commercial centers in North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and possibly Eagle Rock, while avoiding much of the traffic by using bus-only lanes.
The Metro board recently released a technical study which proposes two options for the route. The first would serve more potential riders and destinations by routing on surface streets. The second would be a bit faster but more limited by traveling mostly on the 134 freeway.
Metro will present recommendations on the plan to the board later this year and then begin the environmental review process.