Garcetti Announces L.A. Metro To Debut Of “Valley-Westside Express” Nonstop Bus Service Utilizing I-405 Carpool Lanes Through the Sepulveda Pass

LOS ANGELES -- Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the launch a brand new “Valley-Westside Express” bus service beginningMonday, December 15 to provide transit riders with a faster, easier way to travel between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.
The new service will take full advantage of the recently completed network of I-405 carpool lanes that now travel both north and south through the Sepulveda Pass providing frequent, nonstop service between the Sepulveda Metro Orange Line Station in Van Nuys directly to and from Westwood.

Metro riders can save at least 20 minutes of time in each direction compared with current Metro bus service that utilizes local streets to traverse the Sepulveda Pass. Metro’s 45-foot advanced composite buses will provide weekday service approximately every 15 minutes during peak morning and afternoon periods. Express bus riders will also benefit from a single transfer connection to places including Woodland Hills, Chatsworth and North Hollywood. Regular transit fares will apply for the express service.

“My back to basics agenda is about focusing our resources where they can make the greatest impact, and the new Valley-Westside express is targeted at one of L.A.'s most notorious choke points,” said Eric Garcetti, L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Chair. “It will not only cut 40 minutes of commute time for its riders, it'll reduce the number of cars on the 405 to reduce congestion for us all.”

In addition to the nonstop freeway component of the service, the line also will provide needed bus service along the Van Nuys Boulevard corridor to and from Arleta in the northern portion of the San Fernando Valley, making all Rapid stops along the way. The line also will include an additional stop at the Van Nuys Metro Orange Line Station. Both the Van Nuys and Sepulveda Orange Line stations offer free parking lots for drivers who want to park and then ride the new service.

“This is a necessary step to increase mobility and better connect people in the San Fernando Valley and the Westside of Los Angeles,” said Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Councilmember and Metro Board member. “It’s also one of several bus service improvements that Metro is bringing to the Valley, all of which make it easier for commuters to get where they need to be.”

Metro will monitor usage of the new line and is prepared to augment service frequencies based on demand. Metro also plans to extend the line south from Westwood to the new Sepulveda Expo Line Phase 2 station when it opens in 2016 to create even greater transit connections for the West L.A. area.

“The Valley-Westside Express creates a critical north-south linkage to key transit services in both sides of the Sepulveda Pass, creating a closely integrated network of fast, frequent Metro service,” said Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board member. “It offers a better way to connect UCLA, Warner Center and other economic centers, institutions, businesses and residential neighborhoods in both the Valley and Westside.”

The Valley-Westside Express is one of several bus service improvements going into effect in mid-December. For example, Metro will combine two Rapid lines into one, improving mobility in the Valley. Metro Rapid 761, which travels between Pacoima and Westwood via Van Nuys Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard, will be combined with Metro Rapid Line 741 that travels between Northridge and Tarzana via Reseda Boulevard for the creation of a new Metro Rapid Line 744. Additionally, Metro Rapid 734 will be extended to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard, and Metro Local 234 will provide weekend, early morning and late night service to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard. For additional information on these bus line improvements, visit metro.net.

In May 2014, Metro and Caltrans officially opened the 10-mile northbound I-405 carpool lane between the I-10 and U.S. 101, completing the entire carpool lane network on the I-405. The new carpool lane creates the incentive for greater utilization of carpools, vanpools and public transit vehicles that can carry more passengers in fewer vehicles through West L.A. and Sepulveda Pass.
About Metro
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

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