Metro Rapid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Metro Rapid
MetroRapid761 GettyCenterS e.jpg
A NABI 60-BRT bus on Line 761 heading to Westwood
Slogan Go Metro
Founded June 24, 2000
Locale Los Angeles County, California
Service type bus service, bus rapid transit
Operator Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
Big Blue Bus
Culver CityBus
Torrance Transit
Metro Rapid system map, January 2009

Metro Rapid is a local express bus service in Los Angeles County, California with bus rapid transit characteristics. It operates in mixed traffic environments and has fewer stops than the Metro Local service. The system is mainly operated by Metro. Two routes are operated by Big Blue Bus, one by Culver CityBus and one by Torrance Transit. The Rapid program attempts to speed up commuter travel time on Los Angeles' county streets, complementing the Metro Local bus network operated by the Metro as well as other bus routes operated by smaller agencies.

To accomplish this, the buses are equipped with special transmittal devices that cause traffic signals to favor the bus, with green lights held longer and red lights shortened. Metro Rapid buses also stop less frequently than Metro Local buses, with Rapid stops located only at major intersections and transfer points. The frequency of Metro Rapid buses is increased as well, as more buses on a line translates to less wait time at each station. All Metro Rapid buses are low-floor CNG buses for faster boarding and alighting.

Inspiration for the program partly came from the transportation network of Curitiba in Brazil, although the concept in nascent form was first broached in a restructuring study long before local officials visited Curitiba to study its transit network.

As a result of a recent[when?] federal court consent decree ruling, beginning in June 2006 almost all Rapid routes began operating from at least 5 am to 9 pm, five days a week, with a maximum of 10-minute peak headways and 20-minute midday and evening headways. Some Rapid routes operate on weekends as well.


Metro bus stop sign for Local line 4 and Rapid line 704 in Santa Monica.

The Metro Rapid Program was implemented in June 2000-December 2002 with the goal of improving bus speeds within urbanized Los Angeles County. Lines 720 (Wilshire), 745 (Broadway), 754 (Vermont) and 750 (Ventura) were the pilot routes of the program, and began using next bus technology at most stops. Metro claims travel times have been reduced by as much as 29%.

Metro Rapid stop demonstrating the new design and NextBus technology

The Metro Rapid Program currently operates 26 routes across a network of 450 miles (720 km). Simple routes are designed to interface with the region's urban rail network.

Metro Rapid buses are distinguished by their red and silver livery. Older Rapid buses have a red-and-white livery and a few had all-white livery (buses 7102-7112, 7617-7618, 7628, 7643 and 7646) until July 2002 when some were repainted to the red-and-white livery and others converted to Metro Local service. Some Rapid stops are equipped with "NextBus" technology which indicates the wait time before the next bus arrives. NextBus displays were installed mostly at stops on Lines 720 and 750.

Metro Rapid Lines 720, 770 and 780 are the only lines that complement multiple lines (the 720 runs alongside the 18 and 20; 770 runs alongside 68 and 70; and the 780 runs alongside the 180, 181 and 217); Lines 720 and 780 are the longest routes in the Metro Rapid system. They take roughly 2 hours from start to end during rush hours. Also, line 720 is the most frequent of all Rapids. In the morning rush hour, the Rapid 720 ranges from every 2–10 minutes.

Lines 720, 733, 744 and 754 are the busiest Metro Rapid lines and 60-foot NABI articulated buses are used. Lines 754 and 757 were the pilot routes using 60-foot NABI buses, making their debut in December 2005. Line 757 no longer uses 60-foot NABI articulated buses. Line 720 started using the 60-foot NABI buses in May 2006 with 78 buses. The buses are assigned to divisions SB-5 (Arthur Winston/Midcities), WSC-7 (West Hollywood), WSC-10 (Gateway), SFV-15 (East Valley), SGV-3 (North Los Angeles), and GC-1 (Central City). Recently, with the delivery of 95 60-foot NABI articulated buses (9500-9594), Lines 704, 728, and 740 have begun using the buses since December 16, 2007, but not anymore (except for Rapid line 704). As of June 2008, Line 710 began using the 60-foot NABI articulated buses, which does not use anymore.

Metro Rapid articulated bus in downtown Los Angeles

Based on availability of equipment, lower capacity buses may be placed into service on lines that normally use the 60-BRTs. Occasionally, Metro Local and rarely Metro Silver Liner-painted buses are put into Rapid service.

A year after Metro introduced SmartBus technology on most of their buses, marquees were modified on most Metro Rapid buses in which the "STOP REQUESTED" portion scrolls across the marquee instead of staying in place and "PLEASE USE REAR EXIT" scrolls slowly. Months later, marquees were switched back to their original format.

The fare is the same as other Metro bus and rail service. Routes are numbered in the 700 series (7xx).

Some Metro Rapid buses have been converted to Metro Local service. Buses 7111 and 7112 were originally Metro Rapid buses in all-white livery with a red Metro Rapid logo. Bus 7006 was converted to Metro Local service after being one of the first 40-foot NABI buses to be in the current Metro Rapid livery (red and silver).


Critics[who?] see the Metro Rapid system as not sufficient to meet Los Angeles' growing transit needs. Limited funds, they say, would be better spent on extending the region's rail network. Rapid buses do not have the capacity or efficiency of light- or heavy-rail technology.

Other critics[who?] claim that Metro Rapid is a triumph of marketing over substance. For many years, Metro and its predecessor, the SCRTD, operated limited-stop routes, which were similar to Metro Rapid service in the middle of their routes (serving only transfer points and major stops), but made local stops at each end. Rapid buses do not change traffic signals outside of the City of Los Angeles because only the City has tied the transponders to the signal network. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is working on rectifying the problem for all the other cities where Rapid buses pass through, but individual signals have to be reprogrammed to give signal priority to Rapid buses. In addition, only Rapid-branded buses have transponders, which causes problems when not enough Rapid buses are available (or conversely, when Rapid-branded buses are used on Local service).

Another complaint concerns the placement of Local and Rapid stops at separate locations at the same intersection.[citation needed] This was done to eliminate the backing up of buses at stops, but has resulted in a dangerous move called the "Rapid Bus Shuffle", in which a rider waiting at a Local stop runs to a Rapid stop, or vice versa, if the other bus arrives first. In response, some Rapid stops are placed adjacent to Local bus stops.

In addition, civil rights organizations like the Bus Riders Union complain about cutbacks in Local service required to implement Rapid service. Generally, between 25 and 50% of Local service is cut and replaced by Rapid service. Thus, riders not living or working near a Rapid stop must walk a longer distance to an intersection with both Local and Rapid stops, or wait longer for a Local bus. The Special Master of the consent decree between Metro and the BRU has ordered that no more than 33% of the resources for Rapids come from Local service.

It should be noted that Metro staff has never considered Metro Rapid a substitute for rail service, but is instead a pragmatic interim measure given current budgetary constraints.[citation needed]

Another major complaint is the lack of Saturday, Sunday, and holiday service on several of its high-volume routes like the 705, 710 & 740 where many patrons commute from inner-city suburbs, Downtown LA, or the South Bay to major cities for their jobs and local shopping.


Current Metro Rapid Routes[edit]

All service operated by Metro, unless otherwise noted. Sector abbreviations are described here.

Route Terminals via Days of Operation Notes
Torrance Rapid 3
South Bay Galleria Long Beach Transit Mall Carson Street, Avalon Boulevard, Pacific Coast Highway Weekdays (6:05a-10:20a; 2:15p-7:40p)
Santa Monica Rapid 3
Santa Monica
4th Street and Wilshire Boulevard
Aviation/LAX Station Lincoln Boulevard Weekdays (6:10a-8:40p)
  • Operates alongside Big Blue Bus Line 3, known internally by Metro as Line 703 [4]
  • Uses New Flyer L40LFs and NABI 60-BRTs
  • Operated by Big Blue Bus
Santa Monica
2nd Street and Santa Monica Boulevard
Downtown LA
Union Station
Santa Monica Boulevard Daily (Mon-Sat: 5:00a-9:00p; Sun: 7a-8p)
  • Service began June 2007, replaced Line 304 and operates alongside Line 4
  • Uses NABI 60-BRTs
  • Operated by the WSC-7 and WSC-10 divisions.
Santa Monica Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard
West Hollywood
West Hollywood Library
Vernon Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue
La Cienega Boulevard, Vernon Avenue Weekdays (5a-9p)
  • Service began June 2004, operates alongside Line 105
  • Uses a mix of New Flyer C40LF & NABI 40-LFW vehicles
  • Operated by the GC-2 division.
Culver City Rapid 6
UCLA Aviation/LAX Station Sepulveda Boulevard Weekdays (5:50a-9:57a; 2:20p-7:35p)
  • Operates alongside Culver CityBus Line 6; known internally by Metro as line 706 [5]
  • Uses New Flyer C40LFRs and New Flyer Xcelsior XN40s
  • Operated by Culver CityBus
Santa Monica Rapid 7
Santa Monica
Broadway and 5th Street
Wilshire/Western Station Pico Boulevard Weekdays (5:35a-11:10p)
  • Operates alongside Big Blue Bus Line 7; known internally by Metro as Line 707
  • Uses NABI 60-BRTs and New Flyer L40LFs
  • Operated by Big Blue Bus
Wilshire/Western Station South Bay Galleria
Artesia Boulevard and Kingsdale Street
Crenshaw Boulevard Weekdays, Saturday (M-F: 5:30a-9:30p; S: 6a-8:30p)
  • Service began February 2004, replaced Line 310 and operates alongside Line 210
  • Uses Metro Local NABI 40-foot LFW and rarely 45-foot compo vehicles
  • Operated by the SB-18 division.
Santa Monica
4th Street and Colorado Avenue
Commerce Center
Wilshire Boulevard, Whittier Boulevard Daily (M-F: 4:30a-2:00a; Sa/Su: 5:00a-1:30a)
  • Service began June 2000, one of the two original routes, replaced Lines 318, 320 and 322, and operates alongside Lines 18 and 20
  • Uses NABI 60-BRTs and some NABI 45C-LFWs (mainly weekday rush hours and certain times)
  • Operated by the GC-1 and WSC-10 divisions.
Wilshire Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard
Downtown LA
Main Street and 6th Street
Century City
Constellation Boulevard and Century Park West
Downtown LA
Union Station
Olympic Boulevard Weekdays (5:00a-9:00p)
  • Began December 2007, replaced Line 328 and operates alongside Line 28
  • Uses mix of NABI 40-LFW, NFI XN40, and NABI 45C-LFW vehicles
  • Operated by the SGV-3 division.
Santa Monica
Ocean Avenue and Arizona Avenue
Downtown LA
Union Station
Venice Boulevard Daily (5:00a-11:00p)
  • Began June 2010, replaced Line 333 and operates alongside Line 33 (which replaces service during late evening and early morning hours)
  • Uses NABI 60-BRT vehicles
  • Operated by the WSC-7 and WSC-10 divisions.
Sylmar Station Westwood
Federal Building
Sepulveda Boulevard, Brand Boulevard Weekdays (5a-10:15p)
  • Began June 2006, operates alongside Line 234 (which replaces service everyday during late evenings and early mornings and all day on weekends)
  • Uses a mix of 40 and 45-foot NABI vehicles
  • Operated by the SFV-15 division.
Crenshaw Expo Line Station South Bay Galleria Hawthorne Boulevard, Crenshaw Boulevard Weekdays, Saturday (M-F: 5a-9:15p; Sa: 5:45a-9:15p)
  • Began December 2004, replaced Line 340 and operates alongside Line 40
  • Uses NABI 40-foot LFW vehicles
  • Operated by the SB-5 division.
Van Nuys Boulevard and Glenoaks Boulevard
Reseda Boulevard and Devonshire Street (weekdays)
Reseda Boulevard, Ventura Boulevard, Van Nuys Boulevard Daily (M-F: 4:50a-10:30p; Sa/Su: 5a-9:40p)
  • Began December 2014, replaced Lines 741 and 761 and operates alongside Lines 233 and 240
  • Uses NABI 60-BRTs
  • Operated by SFV-15
Sherman Oaks Galleria
Ventura Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard
Downtown LA
Union Station
Harbor Freeway Station Broadway Daily (M-F: 5a-9p; Sa: 5:30a-8p; Su: 6a-8p)
  • Began December 2002, replaced Line 345 and operates alongside Line 45
  • Uses a mix of New Flyer C40LF and Metro NABI 45C vehicles
  • Some morning peak service begins at Florence Avenue
  • Operated by the GC-1 division.
Warner Center Transit Hub Universal City/Studio City Station Ventura Boulevard Weekdays (5a-10:30p)
  • Began June 2000, one of the two original routes, operates alongside Line 150
  • Uses NABI Metro 45C vehicles and some NABI 40-LFW vehicles.
  • Operated by the SFV-8 division.
Cypress Park
Avenue 28 and Idell Street
Huntington Park
Palm Place and Seville Avenue
Avenue 26, Daly Street, Soto Street Weekdays (4:30a-8:30p)
  • Began June 2004, replaced Line 350 and operates alongside Line 251
  • Uses a mix of NFI XN40 and 45-foot NABI vehicles
  • Operated by the SGV-3 division.
Vermont Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
120th Street and Vermont Avenue
Vermont Avenue Daily (M-F: 5:00a-9:30p; Sa: 6:00a-9:15p; Su: 6:00a-8:30p)
  • Began December 2002, replaced Line 354 and operates alongside Line 204
  • Uses NABI 60-BRTs
  • Operated by SB-5 and SB-18
Hollywood/Western Station Crenshaw Station Western Avenue Weekdays (5:00a-9:30p)
  • Began December 2005, replaced Line 357 and operates alongside Line 207
  • Uses NABI 40-LFW vehicles
  • Operated by SB-5
Downtown LA
5th Street and Beaudry Avenue
Long Beach Station Santa Fe Avenue, Pacific Boulevard, Long Beach Boulevard Weekdays, Saturday (M-F: 5:00a-8:45p; Sa: 5:00a-8:40p)
  • Began June 2007, replaced Line 360 and operates alongside Line 60
  • Mixed use of New Flyer C40LF and NABI 40-foot LFW vehicles
  • Operated by the GC-1 division.
Fair Oaks Avenue and Colorado Boulevard
Artesia Station Fair Oaks Avenue, Atlantic Boulevard Weekdays (5:00a-9:00p)
  • Began June 2008, replaced Line 361 and operates alongside Line 260
  • Uses NABI 40-foot LFW vehicles
  • Operated by SGV-9
Imperial Highway and Atlantic Boulevard
Downtown LA
Broadway and Venice Boulevard
El Monte Station Garvey Avenue, Cesar E. Chavez Avenue Weekdays, Saturday (M-F: 5:00a-9:00p; Sa: 6:15a-7:15p)
  • Began December 2007, replaced Lines 368 and 370 and operates alongside Lines 68 and 70
  • Uses NABI 40-foot LFWs and NFI XN40 series
  • Operated by the SGV-9 division.
Pasadena City College
Colorado Boulevard and Hill Avenue
Hollywood/Vine Station Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard Weekdays (5:00a-8:45p)
  • Began December 2004, replaced Line 317, 380 and 717 and operates alongside Lines 180, 181 and 217
  • Uses a mix of NFI XN40 and 45-foot NABI vehicles
  • Operated by the SGV-3 division.
Washington/Fairfax Transit Hub
Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue
Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue
Van Nuys Boulevard, I-405, Wilshire Boulevard Weekdays (5-9am; 3-7pm)
  • Operated by the SFV-15 division.
Sylmar Station Downtown LA
Hill Street and Venice Boulevard
San Fernando Road Weekdays (4:45a-9:20p)
  • Began June 2008, replaced Line 394 and operates alongside Lines 94 and 224
  • Uses a mix of 40 and 45-foot NABI vehicles
  • Operated by the SFV-15 division.

Former routes[edit]

Route Terminals via Notes/History
Inglewood Transit Center Bell Gardens
Florence Avenue and Garfield Avenue
Florence Avenue
  • Replaced by Line 311 in December 2010
  • Operated by SB-18
Beverly Hills
Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon Drive
Grand Station Beverly Boulevard
  • Discontinued in December 2010 due to low ridership
  • Operated by WSC-7
City Bus Center
Downey Transportation Depot Manchester Boulevard, Firestone Boulevard
  • Discontinued in December 2010 due to low ridership
  • Operated by SB-5 and SB-18
Inglewood Transit Center
Hollywood/Vine Station West LA Transit Center
Washington Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue
Hollywood Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue
  • Merged with Line 780 in June 2006
  • Operated by WSC-7
Sylmar Station North Hollywood Station San Fernando Road, Lankershim Boulevard
  • Discontinued in June 2009 due to low ridership
  • Operated by SFV-15
Pico Boulevard and Rimpau Boulevard
Little Tokyo/Arts District Station Pico Boulevard
  • Replaced by Line 330 in June 2012
  • Operated by WSC-10
Reseda Boulevard and Devonshire Street
Ventura Boulevard and Reseda Boulevard
Reseda Boulevard
  • Replaced by Line 744 in December 2014
  • Operated by SFV-8
Downtown LA
5th Street and Beaudry Avenue
Rosa Parks Station Central Avenue
  • Discontinued in December 2010 due to low ridership
  • Operated by GC-1
Van Nuys Boulevard and Glenoaks Boulevard
Federal Building
Van Nuys Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Replaced by Lines 734 and 744 in December 2014
  • Operated by SFV-15
Santa Monica
Colorado Avenue and Ocean Avenue
Wilshire/Vermont Station Wilshire Boulevard
  • Former Rapid Express Line
  • Discontinued in December 2010 due to low ridership, although riders have advocated improvements, during the service's short life
  • Operated by WSC-10
Wilshire Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard
Downtown LA
Union Station
Del Amo Fashion Center Hawthorne Boulevard, Crenshaw Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Former Rapid Express Line
  • Discontinued in June 2008 due to low ridership, although riders have advocated improvements [6], during the service's short life
  • Operated by SB-18


NABI Metro 45C #8084 on the 780 on the way to Hollywood

The Metro Rapid fleet consists exclusively of low-floor buses manufactured by both North American Bus Industries, and New Flyer.

Other Los Angeles-area Rapids[edit]

Foothill Transit's Silver Streak made its debut on March 18, 2007, using the El Monte Busway and the San Bernardino Freeway. This route is not part of the official Metro Rapid program.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Route Map : 704" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  3. ^ "Route Map : 705" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ [3][dead link]
  6. ^ "Route Map : 710" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  7. ^ "Route Map : 720" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  8. ^ "Route Map : 728" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  9. ^ "Route Map : 733" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  10. ^ "Route Map : 734" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Route Map : 740" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  12. ^ "Route Map : 744" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  13. ^ "Route Map : 745" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  14. ^ "Route Map : 750" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  15. ^ "Route Map : 751" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  16. ^ "Route Map : 754" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  17. ^ "Route Map : 757" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  18. ^ "Route Map : 760" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  19. ^ "Route Map : 762" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  20. ^ "Route Map : 770" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  21. ^ "Route Map : 780" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  22. ^ "Route Map : 788" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  23. ^ "Route Map : 794" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-23. 

External links[edit]