Re: Ah the San Fernando Valley.........Well.......... Let's stir the pot......
Date: 12-04-2017 - 10:49
In the case of the "Orangeline" conversion or the existing billion or so plus busway, to rail, we are talking about nearly 2.5 to 3 billion dollars to convert the operating Orangeline Busway (Former Chatsworth Branch( to LRT. That would allow it to go from today's "Busway" range of 25 to 30 thousand trips daily, to about 40-45 thousand trips daily on LRT.
So, without any harm meant to the noisier politicians in the Valley, I would hope that fixing Zev Yaroslavsky's dumbest mistake in building the Orangeline as a busway in the first place, would be a very low and long term priority at MTA, as opposed to say the Purple Line or the UP/West Santa Ana Brach LRT.
That being said, they have also funded a number of interim improvements and rapid bus projects to placate the chronic whining in the Valley by the 2028 Olympics.
I have been on actual tours on the Ottawa busway at the TRB HOV Lane conference, where they explained how the bus line fan out into to directly serve the end point destinations, and funnel those buses into the busway and the downtown arterial busway to distribute the passengers to the big employment centers at the on-line stations and to the Government and business center downtown.
This "feeder" based mode of operation seems to produce much better trip numbers in a much smaller Metro area than the Orangeline, partially by eliminating unnecessary transfers. And, I have suggested this approach (which we ironically use on the El Monte and Harbor busways) to help fix some of that, and also to alleviate capacity issues with more buses "feeding in" along the Orangeline, from the major north south arterials, and with short lining. MTA still insists on running the Orangeline operationally as thought it is a kind of "poor man's" light rail.
There are some improvements, being planned, proposed, or underway, for the Orangeline that I haven' really followed that closely lately, that may involve grade separation of part of it, and/or even crossing gates.... to make it seem even more like poor man's light rail? I would look at fully autonomous driverless buses on this route before I spent that kind of money on LRT for that change in trips.
Zev really screwed up (a lot, from the tunneling ban to the 101 widening fiasco in which I was personally able to se a level of staff arrogance, utter incompetence, and blatant Nimby fearmongering unequaled in my long career). And, sometimes you just can't fix dumb, especially after it's already happened.....
Now, if we could just quietly finish double tracking LOSSAN/ML mainline in the Valley (aka whining nimby hell)...... My Christmas wishes for the Valley are far more modest as you can see.