At a recent presentation to The Valley Economic Alliance at California State University-Northridge, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins shared her vision of making Metro Angelenos’ first choice for transportation. That’s an ambitious goal in the L.A. region, which has had a love affair with the automobile for decades.
To achieve that goal, Wiggins reported that Metro is pioneering a network of transportation improvements throughout the region, including the San Fernando Valley, that are specifically designed to provide an effective alternative to driving. For example, Metro broke ground last December on advanced utility work for the 6.7-mile East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project, which will be the Valley’s first local stop rail service in seven decades.
The Southern Segment of the project will connect the Van Nuys G Line (Orange) Station and continue along Van Nuys Boulevard to Pacoima. The Northern Segment, from Van Nuys Bl/San Fernando Rd to Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station is currently under study.
The new rail line will travel along one of the Valley’s busiest transit corridors; Van Nuys Boulevard has some of the highest employment densities of anywhere in the Valley.
The construction project alone will create approximately 25,000 new jobs and induce 8,000 indirect ones. Full-scale construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.
In addition to this new rail line, Metro also plans to improve the G Line (Orange), the Valley’s popular Bus Rapid Transit line. Metro will be installing grade separations and aerial stations at Van Nuys Blvd and Sepulveda Blvd as well as a third bridge structure at Vesper Ave. The project is also planning to install “railroad-style” four-quadrant gates at intersections along the corridor. Combined, the improvements are expected to reduce travel time between North Hollywood and Chatsworth by up to 30%. The project is currently in the design and preconstruction services phase. Major construction is slated to begin in 2024.
Additionally, last year, the final environmental impact report for a new Bus Rapid Transit line from North Hollywood to Pasadena was approved. The project is now in the preliminary design phase, and is expected to be complete by 2028.
Metro is also making big changes to Valley bus routes too. After careful discussion with community members, Metro is about to begin work on the North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project: a broad and multifaceted network of bus improvements that include more frequent bus service, building better bus shelters, carving out “bus bulbs” on busy streets to aid with traffic flow and electrifying the bus fleet. When this project is complete, in Winter 2025, Metro will have the capacity to deliver 10,000 more trips per day.
Taken together, all of these Valley projects will help transform transit throughout the Valley, making it faster, more efficient, and more comfortable for riders. With so much on the horizon, it will be easier for Valley residents to make Metro their first choice in travel so they can leave their cars at home.