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City Council Supports Building Light Rail on Orange Line Bus Route

The motion is introduced by Councilman Tom LaBonge and seconded by Councilman Paul Koretz.

The Metro Expo Line on the Westside of Los Angeles (File photo)
The Metro Expo Line on the Westside of Los Angeles (File photo)

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted in support of repealing 1991’s Senate Bill 211, which bans the installation of light rail transit along the Metro Orange Line route through the San Fernando Valley.

The motion, which was was introduced by Councilman Tom LaBonge and seconded by Councilmember Paul Kortez, calls for the repeal of the state law which, which bans a light rail from being built in North Hollywood all the way to Hazeltine Avenue in Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys. 

LaBonge's resolution "supports any legislative and/or administrative action by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) which would prioritize the development of rail-based transit for corridors with the highest ridership in the San Fernando Valley in its Long Range Transportation Plan,” LaBonge said in a released statement. 

According to LaBonge's office, the state law prohibits even the study of rail transit on the Orange Line corridor. 

"The Orange Line right of way was once rail and should be rail again," LaBonge said during the city council meeting. "The overwhelming popularity of the dedicated bus line shows that Angelenos will use public transit when it is fast and efficient. These riders deserve a rail line and the increased capacity that it will bring."  

What do you think about a light rail line being installed along the Orange Line? Tell us in the comments. 
Robert W. Mann October 31, 2013 at 10:20 PM
The project never made any logical sense in the first place. Remove a railroad that was originally built to handle electric interurban trains to and from LA and tear it out. Replace it with Buses on an expensive piece of asphalt which have smaller capacities, higher labor costs and tend to bunch up at rush hour stops. Chosen because Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would NOT create the development boom seen along most light rail lines. So in the end we've trashed a railroad, built a expensive highway, rebuilt ridership but discovered without development paying taxes its harder now to pay the bills, so lets tear up the highway and put down the railroad again. For my money, the guy that came to the table with the BRT idea should be run out of town 'on a rail.' bob metrojacksonville.com
Tom Olsen November 01, 2013 at 03:45 AM
When the busway was proposed o local residents, one of the big selling points was that after 3 years of operation, the Feds would kick in the funds to convert it to light rail. No one ever mentioned the state law against even studying it... Thanks MTA for another con job.
Rob Hermann November 01, 2013 at 11:18 AM
So-called light rail on the Orange line will always be a burden on the County tax payers. Local residents and traffic will suffer the most. Experts have studied this line to death (no pun intended). Nothing has changed. Only fools would go forward. Rob Hermann
Gary Dean Ruebsamen November 01, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Why not spend the money on more Orange line buses and bus drivers? The Orange line works as is. Expand it. Don't replace it.
Lorenzo Mutia November 14, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Get an exemption for bi articulated busses, make the platforms level, and give us enclosed stations with turnstiles. Gold Standard BRT! I want LRT but there's not enough money. The new East SFV project will probably be another BRT. Can we just get real BRT for once?

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