L.A. Plays Catch-Up to Big City Brethren With Debut of Bus-Only Lanes

One of Los Angeles's most congested corridors may have gotten a bit more congested this week - for autos that is - as the first segment of an eventual 12.5 miles of bus only lanes opened along Wilshire Boulevard.
June 6, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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During peak hours, more people travel down Wilshire Boulevard by bus than by car. And an ambitious project aims to reduce travel times for those riders by 12 to 15 minutes by making one lane of traffic available only to buses and bikes, reports Laura J. Nelson. The first piece of that project made its debut on Wednesday.

"The 1.8 miles of lanes between MacArthur Park and Western Avenue are some of the first of their kind in the county and one piece of a larger transit corridor that will be finished late next year," says Nelson. "The $31.5-million Wilshire Boulevard project calls for 12.5 miles of modifications between downtown and Westwood, including 7.7 miles of bus lanes."

"The improvements are long overdue, officials said Tuesday, and a step toward bringing Los Angeles' public transportation system up to par with cities such as Boston, New York and Madrid."

"For the foreseeable future, and perhaps forever, buses will the backbone of our transit system," Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Deputy CEO Paul Taylor said. "Later this month, Metro is expected to announce five more corridors that could be modified in similar ways," adds Nelson.

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Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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