Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Streetfilms: BRT and Bikes on LA’s Orange Line

Who would have thought that one of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
systems in the U.S. would be in its most sprawling
city?

In October 2005, the Los Angeles County Metro Authority
(or Metro) debuted a new 14-mile BRT system in the San Fernando Valley
using a former rail right-of-way. Unlike many "rapid" bus transit
systems in the U.S., the Orange Line is true BRT: it features a
dedicated roadway that cars may not enter, has a pre-board payment
system so buses load quickly and efficiently, and uses handsome,
articulated buses to transport passengers fast -- sometimes at speeds approaching 55 mph! The roadway is landscaped so ornately you could almost call it a bus greenway.

But that's not all. The corridor also boasts a world class bike and
pedestrian path which runs adjacent to the BRT route for nearly its
entire length, giving users numerous multi-modal options. Each station
has bike amenities, including bike lockers and racks, and all the buses
feature racks on the front that accommodate up to three bikes.

Perhaps the biggest problem is its soaring success: ridership numbers
have some calling for the BRT to be converted to rail, and Metro is
exploring ways to move more passengers, including buying longer buses.  Expansion plans
are also underway.

Whatever way you slice it, this is truly a hit with
Angelenos. A formerly 81 minute trip now takes 44-52 minutes -- over an
hour in round-trip savings -- making a bona fide impact in the lives of
commuters.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024
See all posts