G Line (Los Angeles Metro)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

G Line
LACMTA Square G Line.svg
Metro Liner from the Surfliner.jpg
G Line bus traveling on the exclusive busway near Chatsworth
Overview
Other name(s)Orange Line (2005–2020)
OwnerLos Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line number901
TerminiChatsworth
North Hollywood
Stations17
Websitemetro.net/riding/g-line
Service
TypeBus rapid transit
SystemLos Angeles Metro Busway
Depot(s)Division 8 (West San Fernando Valley)
Rolling stockNew Flyer Xcelsior XE60
Ridership3,358,303 (2021) Decrease -4.7%
History
OpenedOctober 29, 2005; 16 years ago (2005-10-29)
Technical
Line length18 miles (29.0 km)[1]
CharacterAt-grade in private right-of-way
Operating speed55 mph (89 km/h) (max.)
20 mph (32 km/h) (avg.)[2]
Route map

Chatsworth
Amtrak Metrolink (California)
Division 8 yard
Nordhoff
Roscoe
Sherman Way
Warner Center
discontinued
2018
Canoga
De Soto
Pierce College
Tampa
Reseda
Balboa
Woodley
Sepulveda
(planned)
Van Nuys
(2028)
Woodman
Valley College
Laurel Canyon/Valley Village
North Hollywood
B Line 
Handicapped/disabled access all stations accessible

The G Line (formerly the Orange Line) is a bus rapid transit line in Los Angeles, California, operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). It operates between Chatsworth and North Hollywood stations in the San Fernando Valley. The 18-mile (29 km) G Line uses a dedicated, exclusive right-of-way for the entirety of its route with 17 stations located at approximately one mile (1.6 km) intervals; fares are paid via TAP cards at vending machines on station platforms before boarding to improve performance. It is one of the two lines in the Metro Busway system.

The line, which opened on October 29, 2005, follows part of the Southern Pacific Railroad's former Burbank Branch Line which provided passenger rail service from 1904 to 1920; it was subsequently used by Pacific Electric streetcars from 1911 to 1952. At North Hollywood station, the G Line connects with the B Line subway which offers service to Downtown Los Angeles via Hollywood. The Metro Orange Line bicycle path runs alongside part of the route.

In 2020, the line was renamed from Orange Line to the G Line while retaining the color orange in its square icon as part of a complete renaming of lines by the LACMTA.[3][4][5][6]

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), under its BRT Standard, has given the G Line corridor a Bronze ranking.[7]

Service description[edit]

Because of its many differences from a standard bus service, Metro has branded the G Line as part of the region's network of light and heavy rail lines and it appears on the same system map as the rail lines. The buses are painted in the silver-and-gray color scheme of Metro Rail vehicles. The G Line is rarely referred to by its line number (901), but it sometimes appears on documents and destination signage.

The G Line's icon color, and former Orange Line name, were inspired by the many citrus trees that once blanketed the San Fernando Valley. In the planning stages the G Line was known as the San Fernando Valley East-West Transitway, and later the Metro Rapidway.

Operation[edit]

G Line buses operate 24 hours a day.[8] At peak hours (between 6 am and 7 pm eastbound, 5 am and 6 pm westbound), every other bus is a short turn, only operating between North Hollywood and Canoga station.

Station list[edit]

The following is the complete list of stations, from west to east.

Stations Date opened Neighborhood Major connections and notes[9][10]
Chatsworth June 30, 2012 Chatsworth Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink (California) Ventura County Line
Park and ride: 609 spaces
Nordhoff
Roscoe Canoga Park
Sherman Way Park and ride: 207 spaces
Canoga December 27, 2006[11] Park and ride: 246 spaces
De Soto October 29, 2005 Winnetka
Pierce College Park and ride: 392 spaces
Tampa Tarzana
Reseda Park and ride: 442 spaces
Balboa Lake Balboa Park and ride: 273 spaces
Woodley Van Nuys
Sepulveda Park and ride: 260 spacess
LAMetroLogo.svg Future connection to Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor
Van Nuys Park and ride: 307 spaces
LAMetroLogo.svg Future connection to East San Fernando Light Rail Transit Project (2028)
Woodman Valley Glen
Valley College
Laurel Canyon/Valley Village Valley Village
North Hollywood North Hollywood B Line 
Park and ride: 1,085 spaces

Ridership[edit]

Annual ridership
Year Ridership
2009 6,825,390
2010 7,087,074 +3.8%
2011 7,522,082 +6.1%
2012 8,528,167 +13.4%
2013 9,164,407 +7.5%
2014 8,742,210 −4.6%
2015 8,422,122 −3.7%
2016 7,754,858 −7.9%
2017 7,373,450 −4.9%
2018 7,008,626 −4.9%
2019 6,714,108 −4.2%
2020 3,523,695 −47.5%
2021 3,358,303 −4.7%
Source: Metro[12]

History[edit]

The majority of the G Line is built on part of the former Southern Pacific Railroad Burbank branch, part of which saw Pacific Electric Red Car service;[13] passenger service on this segment ended in 1952,[citation needed] but the right-of-way remained undeveloped and was acquired by Metro in 1991.[13] As the Metro Rail system was being designed in the 1990s, initial plans were to build an extension of the Metro Red Line there, since the purchased right-of-way's eastern terminus was at the site of the planned North Hollywood station. However, political developments stymied these plans: community objections to surface transit along the route resulted in a 1991 law mandating that any line along the route be built as a deep-bore tunnel,[14][15] but a 1998 ballot measure driven by perceptions of mismanagement banned the use of county sales tax to fund subway tunneling.[16][17][18] Prevented from using the route for rail, Metro proceeded to create its first bus rapid transit line along the corridor, and despite further lawsuits from area residents,[19] the line opened on October 29, 2005, at a final cost of US$324 million or US$23 million per mile (US$450 million and US$31.9 million in 2021 adjusted for inflation).[20]

Then-County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said they initially mirrored the busway concept based on a similar transit system he, then-Mayor Richard Riordan, and other elected officials toured in Curitiba, Brazil.[21]

On June 23, 2009 construction began on a four-mile (6.4 km) extension from Canoga northward along the Southern Pacific trackbed[22] to the Metrolink station in Chatsworth. Metro's board approved the plan on September 28, 2006, and it was completed in 2012 at a cost of US$215 million (US$254 million in 2021 adjusted for inflation).[23][24][25] This created two branches at the western end of the line beyond Canoga station; the older branch proceeded outside the busway on city streets to Warner Center. In 2018, this branch was eliminated and replaced with a frequent service local shuttle, leaving the entirety of the Orange Line on dedicated right-of-way.[26]

Proposed developments[edit]

Grade separation and crossing gates[edit]

Orange Line bus crossing a level crossing at Burbank Boulevard and Fulton Avenue

In the first year that the busway was open, there were ten injury collisions between vehicles and buses, which were heavily covered in the media. Metro noted that the buses had about the same accident rate as other bus lines in the city on a per-mile basis,[27][28] and has stated that the line's accident rate is "less than half" of Metro's entire fleet of buses.[29] They also pointed out that the A Line also had a significant number of collisions in its early years.[30] Under pressure, Metro ordered buses to slow from 25–30 mph (40–48 km/h) to 10 mph (16 km/h) at intersections.[31][32] Starting in December 2005, red light cameras were installed at most intersections.[33]

Prototype grade crossing with red lights and "Busway Crossing" crossbucks, the very first in the United States

As part of the package of enhancement to the LA Metro system approved by voters in 2016 with Measure M, in October 2017 Metro recommended a series of improvements to the Orange Line. These include quad crossing gates at 34 intersections, and the construction of a mile-long elevated section between Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevard. These improvements would eliminate much of the time Orange Line buses spend waiting at red lights, would allow buses to cross intersections at higher speeds, and would cut end-to-end travel time along the entire route by 29%. Projected construction costs are US$283 million.

Metro advertised a design–build project in February 2022 to convert 41 existing signalized intersections on the G Line from transit signal priority to preemption using railroad-grade-crossing-style gates and flashing light signals (similar to the prototype proof of concept at the Hayvenhurst Avenue pedestrian crossing). The project also calls for building aerial busway and two aerial stations to grade separate three other intersections (Sepulveda, Vesper, and Van Nuys). The plans require all work to be compatible with future conversion of the busway to light rail.[34] Pre-construction has started with the LADWP burying the aerial power lines at the busway intersection with Sepulveda in Van Nuys.

Capacity enhancements[edit]

There is concern that the G Line will soon reach its engineered capacity and has exceeded its designed capacity during peak periods.[35] Adding more buses requires platooning (running convoys of two or more buses together), similar to what rail achieves in having multiple cars per train. And while the proposed change in the aforementioned project from priority to preemption at signalized intersections will decrease delays to G Line buses, it will come at the cost of increasing cross street travel times and decreasing their capacity, since priority balances the timing needs of busway traffic with cross traffic versus the more disruptive railroad-style preemption.[34] Another alternative requires the changing of state law or the granting of a Caltrans exemption from state law and purchasing 80-foot-long (24 m) buses.[36]

Conversion to light rail[edit]

In April 2015, a report prepared for Metro estimated that conversion of the G Line to light rail would take two to three years and cost between US$1.2 and 1.7 billion. This price would include both upgraded infrastructure and the purchase of rail vehicles. The report noted that if not upgraded in some way in the near future, the G Line would soon reach capacity at rush hours.[37] Full conversion to light rail is planned to take place by 2050.[38]

Incidents[edit]

On October 27, 2005, two days before the line's official opening, a motorist driving with a suspended license ran a red light and collided with an eastbound bus at Vesper Avenue. There were no injuries.[39]

During November 2005, there were two collision-caused injuries. In the first, a fare inspector on the bus was taken to a hospital for minor injuries after a 65-year-old female driver made an illegal right turn against a red light and struck an Orange Line bus near the crossing at Corbin Avenue in Reseda.[40] In the second, one person was seriously injured and 14 others hospitalized after an elderly motorist apparently ran a red light while using a mobile phone.[41] After the second collision, Metro instructed all buses to slow down at intersections[31] and installed white strobe lights on the sides of the buses to improve visibility. They said that they would review any and all ideas to improve safety on the line.[32]

In October 2006, a delivery truck hit the side of a bus. One person was seriously injured and 16 received minor injuries.[42]

Fleet[edit]

G Line bus using on-route charger at North Hollywood station

The G Line has a dedicated fleet of 60-foot (18 m) articulated buses that each carry up to 57 passengers—about 50% more than 40-foot (12 m) non-articulated buses—and have three doors (versus two on non-articulated buses). The G Line uses a proof-of-payment system whereby fares are paid prior to boarding, so the buses do not have any on-board fare collection equipment. The G Line fleet is stored and maintained at Metro's Division 8 depot in Chatsworth, which has direct access to the busway.

The original G Line fleet ran on compressed natural gas (CNG). In 2021, the CNG fleet was replaced with 40 New Flyer Xcelsior XE60 battery-electric articulated buses.[43] Additional features of the battery-electric buses include dual air conditioning units, two additional hub-mounted motors on the middle axle, an active suspension system, USB charging ports at each seat, and public Wi-Fi. They also lack the large cooling fans of the CNG buses, which makes them quieter.[43]

Each battery-electric bus has a battery capacity of 320 kW-hr,[44] which provides a range of about 150 miles (240 km). There are ten 150 kW slow chargers at the bus depot, as well as 450 and 600 kW on-route rapid chargers at the Canoga, Chatsworth, and North Hollywood stations. The on-route chargers, which are manufactured by Siemens to the SAE J3105-1 standard, add about 40 miles (64 km) of range from a seven to ten minute charge.[44] Both types of chargers have overhead pantographs that connect to roof-mounted contacts on the buses. The depot chargers use a one-to-many scheme, whereby 150 kW from a single charger is distributed to multiple overhead pantographs.[44][45] The electrification project cost US$80 million, including the buses (US$1.15 million each), charging equipment, and infrastructure improvements.[43]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Facts At A Glance". Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  2. ^ Stanger, Richard (2007). "An Evaluation of Los Angeles's Orange Line Busway" (PDF). Journal of Public Transportation. 10 (1): 103 – via Reconnecting America.
  3. ^ "Ignore Those 'Line A' Signs. Metro's Blue Line Will Reopen As The 'A Line'". LAist. September 25, 2019. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019.
  4. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (December 13, 2018). "Because they're out of colors, LA Metro will rename all its train lines and rapid busways with letters in 2019". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Newton, Damien (November 20, 2018). "Metro Moves Ahead with Changes to How They Name Rail/BRT". Streetsblog LA. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "Meet the Line Letters: Information for Metro Employees" (PDF). LACMTA. December 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "BRT Rankings". Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Orange line timetable" (PDF). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "Metro B Line (Red)". www.metro.net. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  10. ^ "Metro Parking Lots by Line". www.metro.net. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "New Canoga Station, Park & Ride Lot Opens on Western Terminus of Metro Orange Line". Metro.net (Press release). December 27, 2006.
  12. ^ "Metro Ridership". Metro.net. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Curtiss, Aaron (April 7, 1996). "Tracks to the Past". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  14. ^ Covarrubias, Amanda (October 18, 2005). "Is a Busway the Valley Way?". Los Angeles Times. pp. A1.
  15. ^ Lopez, Steve (July 27, 2001). "Hahn Tiptoes in Front of Buses, Is Flattened". Los Angeles Times.
  16. ^ Broverman, Neal (February 4, 2014). "State Could be About to Repeal Ban on Light Rail in the Valley". LA Curbed. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  17. ^ "Legal arguments against the busway".
  18. ^ "Public utilities code section 130250-130265". Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  19. ^ Liu, Caitlin; and Times Staff Writers (March 13, 2003). "Valley Busway Opponents Told to Reimburse MTA". Los Angeles Times.
  20. ^ Covarrubias, Amanda; Liu, Caitlin (November 3, 2005). "Crashes Heighten Busway Concerns". Los Angeles Times. Times Staff Writers. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  21. ^ "Beverly Hills View | Zev Yaroslavsky". October 3, 2014.
  22. ^ "Item 44 Program Management Project Budget and Schedule Status" (PDF). Metro. January 18, 2012. p. 3. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  23. ^ Guccione, Jean. "MTA to Run Orange Line Busway to Chatsworth". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 2006. B1.
  24. ^ extension diagram
  25. ^ "Canoga Park-Chatsworth busway construction kickoff Wednesday" Archived June 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Sue Doyle, Daily News, Retrieved June 23, 2008
  26. ^ "Service Council approves new Warner Center circulator connecting with Orange Line". February 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "Similar bumpy roads for transit in L.A., Houston – Crashes raised safety concerns for light rail here and California's Bus Rapid Transit". December 26, 2005.
  28. ^ Liu, Caitlin. "Six Hurt in Latest Orange Line Crash". Los Angeles Times.December 8, 2005.
  29. ^ LA Times – Orange Line bus crash hurts 17
  30. ^ Wells, John V (July 18, 2000). "Train Whistle at Rail Grade Crossings". Congressional Testimony.
  31. ^ a b Liu, Caitlin and Amanda Covarrubias. "Orange Line Model Beset by Crashes". Los Angeles Times. November 4, 2005.
  32. ^ a b Liu, Caitlin. "Orange Line Buses May Get Strobe Light Signals". Los Angeles Times. November 18, 2005.
  33. ^ Liu, Caitlin. "After Crashes, Red-Light Cameras to Be Installed at 12 Orange Line Crossings" Los Angeles Times. December 15, 2005. B1.
  34. ^ a b "LA Metro Solicitation No. PS85661 (G Line BRT Improvements Progressive Design Build)". LA Metro Vendor Portal.
  35. ^ "Busway so popular, it's nearing capacity" (PDF).
  36. ^ "Bus System Design Features That Significantly Improve Service Quality And Cost Efficiency".[broken link]
  37. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (April 10, 2015). "Report: Converting Metro's Orange Line to rail could cost $1.7 billion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  38. ^ Olga, Grigoryants (July 17, 2018). "LA's Metro says improvements are in the works for the Orange Line, with light rail in mind". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  39. ^ Liu, Caitlin. "Car Hits Bus on Transitway Test Run, Raising Concerns for Safety", Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2005.
  40. ^ "Car Collides With Orange Line Bus". ABC7. November 2, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  41. ^ "Busway Safety Controls Boosted 10 MPH Speed Ordered Entering Intersections". ...in the aftermath of Wednesday's collision that sent 15 people to the hospital, one with a severe injury. The collision, one of two Wednesday, was caused by a 78-year-old motorist who ran a red light, possibly while talking on a cell phone.
  42. ^ Silverstein, Stuart (October 24, 2006). "Orange Line bus crash hurts 17". Los Angeles Times. A crowded Orange Line bus collided with a delivery truck in the east San Fernando Valley on Monday afternoon, leaving one person seriously hurt and 16 others apparently with minor injuries, authorities said.
  43. ^ a b c Sotero, Dave (October 14, 2021). "Metro announces fully electric bus fleet on the G Line (Orange)". The Source. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  44. ^ a b c Final Rollout Plan (PDF) (Report). Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 2021. p. 2-3.
  45. ^ Linton, Joe (January 27, 2020). "Eyes on the Street: Electric Chargers on the G (Orange) Line". Streetsblog Los Angeles. Retrieved February 15, 2021.

External links[edit]