The Metro Orange Line, running the width of the Valley, represents a true innovation in American transit. It is the first dedicated busway in the United States, and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says that a dedicated busway â€" featuring articulated buses and rail-style stations â€" might, becuase of lower cost and greater flexibility, be superior to rail in some areas.
Supervisor Yaroslavsky recounts the political and technical vision that led to the Orange Line. Furthermore, he predicts that the Orange Line may not only make a significant contribution to mobility in the Valley, but also provide a model for future rapid transit projects throughout the region:
"The beauty of this system is that itâ€™s flexible. We can change it, we can add more buses, we can take buses off â€" I donâ€™t think weâ€™ll ever take buses off, but we can certainly add them if the ridership justifies it â€" and weâ€™ll see how it operates, and then weâ€™ll fine-tune it. One thing weâ€™ve learned from Curitiba and other places is donâ€™t be afraid to say, â€œWe didnâ€™t think of thatâ€ or â€œthis isnâ€™t working the way we thought it would.â€
We need to improve on our successes and junk our failures. This is going to be the genius of this system. It was an elementary solution, and we saw it through, despite tremendous opposition. Itâ€™s a lesson especially to term-limited politicians, who donâ€™t have the perspective of time to know that thereâ€™s life after making a controversial decision, and that you can integrate communities into the planning process; integrate their legitimate concerns into everything along the way; and have confidence at the end of the day that when they see the final product they will be satisfied that the public agency kept its word."