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Old October 8th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #1
redspork02
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whats the deal w/ L.A.'s Red line?

whats the Deal W/ Los Angeles Metro REd line In The Westside?????????



MTA's Plan for Westside Transit Line Detours South By Martha Groves Times Staff Writer
Sat Oct 8, 7:55 AM ET



For decades, people have said the traffic-choked Westside, more than most other parts of the region, needed a mass transit system that went beyond crowded buses. But neighborhood opposition and high costs have always stymied proposals for light rail or subway.

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As it happens, plans for a Westside rail system are already chugging along, just not where many people think they should be.

The transit line that appears close to becoming a reality for the Westside isn't the long-debated Wilshire Boulevard subway running through the heart of Beverly Hills, Westwood and Brentwood and near Century City's worker-jammed office towers. It is instead a light rail line miles to the south that would extend through a largely industrial and residential area that parallels Exposition Boulevard.

The 9.6-mile Expo Line would begin at the existing 7th Street Metro Rail station and follow a former freight route through southwestern Los Angeles before heading west to Culver City. It is intended eventually to run to Santa Monica.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to release the project's environmental impact documents Monday, and officials said Friday that they have identified $590 million in federal and state funding, $50 million shy of the total needed for the downtown-to-Culver City run. The MTA expects to begin the first phase of construction early next year.

The documents call for 10 stations along the route, with two possible routings through downtown and five variations offered for the hotly debated Culver City "interim terminus" that would complete the first phase in 2010.

Unlike the long-stalled Wilshire Boulevard subway, which would cost $1 billion for its first three miles, the Expo Line could be built less expensively because it would be above ground and on an old Southern Pacific right of way that the MTA owns.

Although some residents along the right of way still oppose the Expo Line, their chorus of boos has grown more muted as traffic congestion has steadily worsened and the prospect of perpetually high gasoline prices has settled in.

"With time has come the realization that we cannot continue our current methods," said Steve Cunningham, Culver City's transportation director. "Many people are ready for another option to be there."

Still, critics contend that the MTA is picking political expediency over sound transit planning.

They say the agency is foolish to move ahead on a relatively remote route rather than fight for a more obvious, if problematic, subway line that would draw thousands more commuters.

They worry about another disappointment like the struggling Pasadena-to-downtown Gold Line, which has low ridership and draws complaints about noise, and the Green Line, which runs along the 105 Freeway but stops short of LAX.

"The Wilshire Corridor is probably the only corridor in Los Angeles that one could justify mass transit on," said Genevieve Giuliano, director of the Metrans Transportation Center, a joint research center of USC and Cal State Long Beach. "It's the only corridor to me that has the potential for generating ridership that justifies an investment in high-capacity transit."

David Mieger, the MTA's director of Westside planning, said the Expo Line would attract riders even though it wouldn't pass the retail and business centers along Wilshire.

"The more we've studied it, the more we've become convinced it will be a heavily used line," Mieger said.

The line would, indeed, link some high- and medium-density pockets: the Convention Center-Staples Center area, USC, Exposition Park, the Crenshaw district, Leimert Park and downtown Culver City.

"We see a lot of ridership coming from those residential communities," Mieger said. He noted that the Expo Line would share two stations with the Blue Line, which runs from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach and which the MTA says is the most heavily used line in the nation.

The Expo Line push comes amid a growing clamor about the Westside's snarled traffic. Many key intersections receive a grade of F, the worst possible, from city traffic engineers, and traffic is expected to grow heavier as construction continues in Santa Monica, Westwood, Century City and Marina del Rey.

If the line is built, it would provide the first test of whether West L.A. commuters are willing to use rail.

Connecting the Westside and downtown Los Angeles by rail has been the dream of traffic planners for more than four decades. But the most discussed idea has been constructing a subway under Wilshire Boulevard, completing the Red Line, which now runs from downtown to Western Avenue. The Red Line was originally envisioned as going farther west, but opposition from neighborhood groups in the 1980s killed the plans.

In his mayoral campaign, Antonio Villaraigosa revived the idea of building the subway to the Pacific Ocean. But Villaraigosa has acknowledged that the Red Line extension is a mere glimmer in his eye. No planning has begun for that project, which MTA officials say probably could not be launched for a decade at least.

Officially known by the unwieldy name Metro Rail Mid-City/Exposition Light Rail Transit Project, the Expo Line gained much of its impetus from an eclectic group of grass-roots supporters known as Friends 4 Expo Transit. The group's co-chairman is Darrell Clarke, a longtime transit activist who also is a Santa Monica planning commissioner. Clarke has been promoting the Expo Line for 16 years.

"I'm an L.A. native who grew up in the Valley and went to [UC] Berkeley in the 1970s and thought BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit], which was then new, was wonderful and we really needed something like that in Los Angeles," he said.

In Clarke's view, the line makes complete sense, given that more than 800,000 people live within two miles of the Exposition right of way. Much of the proposed route parallels the busy Santa Monica Freeway.

The MTA forecasts that the Expo Line's first phase could have 45,000 weekday riders by 2025, with fewer than half that number in the early years.

The agency has been faulted in the past for inaccurate ridership projections.

The MTA has also drawn criticism for the route of the Green Line, which runs along the center median of the 105 Freeway from suburban Norwalk toward LAX. Original plans called for the line to end inside the airport, but it was shortened for budget reasons. Critics have long derided it as "the train that goes from nowhere to nowhere."

One sign that hopes for Westside light rail are riding high is that developers are lining up to build projects near the route.

Les Surfas, owner of the venerable Surfas restaurant supply store at Washington and National boulevards in Culver City, for example, is moving his showroom to a much larger space next door, where he is adding a cafe and demonstration kitchen.

He also hopes to work with Culver City on redeveloping his existing warehouse and office facility across the street into a mixed-use commercial property.

For now, MTA officials are focused on securing the last piece of funding.

Rick Thorpe, who heads the agency's construction and is interim chief executive of the Expo project, said the MTA was seeking $50 million from Los Angeles, USC and other outside sources. The city is considering kicking in $40 million of that figure, he said, and officials are hoping for $15 million from Congress.

But Jim B. Clarke, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Diane Watson (news, bio, voting record) (D-Los Angeles), said, "Any additional federal funding right now is iffy" because of the costs of Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq and other factors.

The MTA plans to post the report and statement on its website at http://www.mta.net , to hold community meetings in November and to vote on the project in December.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 07:57 PM   #2
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Los Angeles Orange Line

Los Angeles's MTA is about to open one of the most elaborate bus rapid transit lines in the United States. The line is built on an abandoned railway line. It does not share its right of way with other traffic; however, it crosses intersecting streets at grade level. Passengers board at stations that include parking and bike lockers. A bike path is included in the right of way.













For more information, see the following website:

http://www.mta.net/projects_programs...nteractive.htm
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Old October 16th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #3
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This is great for Los Angeles, but how many commuters of various income ranges are going to ride an advanced bus line??? I for one am disappointed METRO didn't try to continue plans to extend the subways and light rail in Los Angeles. The red line should have gone from Downtown L.A to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. It takes an hour to 10 miles in rush hour on Wilshire Blvd. I live in Dallas now and honestly have to say DART Dallas' light rail is definitively more commuter friendly. I really hope this allows METRO to get more federal funding for transit and hopefully the discussion of expanding the subway lines emerges again.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #4
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Well, hopefully the orange line will have high enough traffic numbers to substantiate LRT. That's the thinking anyway.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cartman
This is great for Los Angeles, but how many commuters of various income ranges are going to ride an advanced bus line??? I for one am disappointed METRO didn't try to continue plans to extend the subways and light rail in Los Angeles. The red line should have gone from Downtown L.A to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. It takes an hour to 10 miles in rush hour on Wilshire Blvd. I live in Dallas now and honestly have to say DART Dallas' light rail is definitively more commuter friendly. I really hope this allows METRO to get more federal funding for transit and hopefully the discussion of expanding the subway lines emerges again.
You need take on freeway instead of stuck in Wilshire Blvd.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 04:41 AM   #6
greg_christine
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From the NABI website:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.nabiusa.com/new.cfm

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2005

New NABI hybrid-electric 60-BRT debuts in Dallas

Two new NABI 60-BRT articulated vehicles showcased at APTA’s International Public Transportation Expo in Dallas



Dallas, TX—North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI) is impressing the transportation industry with its rail-like vehicles for use on a variety of transit applications, including bus rapid transit (BRT). NABI’s new 5-door hybrid-electric articulated 60-BRT debuted this week at the APTA Expo in Dallas; alongside the 3-door production CNG version of the 60-BRT built for Los Angles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

“The transportation industry’s reception of our new, sleek 60-BRT buses is overwhelming,” said Bill Coryell, NABI Vice President of Sales. “I’ve never seen such positive remarks and enthusiasm about a new product.”

Because many cities have a growing interest in BRT and high-capacity vehicles, NABI has answered the call for an attention-getting, stylish vehicle that attracts passengers, yet still appeals to maintenance personnel and operators. With a turning radius that equals a 40-foot bus and an enhanced driver’s area, these sleek, aerodynamically designed 60-BRT vehicles are changing the paradigm of public transport.

NABI’s new 5-door 60-BRT hybrid-electric vehicle utilizes new technology such as advanced multiplexing features, bridge-plate technology for left-side boarding, and a proven hybrid drive system. With two doors on the left side, the 60-BRT is perfect for median platform boarding, or left side boarding on single-lane dedicated busways.

Thirty of NABI’s CNG 60-BRT vehicles will be deployed on Metro’s Orange Line, a 14-mile dedicated busway. Seating up to 57 passengers, the advanced, aerodynamically designed vehicles provide low-floor entry for quick and easy boarding, a roomy interior, reduced interior and exterior noise levels and full ADA compliance.

“The Metro Orange Line will bring quicker, more efficient bus service to [San Fernando] Valley commuters and easier access to the expansive, countywide Metro Bus and Rail system," said Roger Snoble, CEO of Metro.

Rivaling rail systems in service and amenities, the Orange Line is the first of its kind of transitway project in Southern California. This BRT route incorporates a host of innovative construction and design features, from traffic signal priority systems, off-board fare collection and next stop announcement systems to stylish NABI 60-BRT vehicles and artistically designed stations.

Los Angeles World Airports has ordered 12 CNG 60-BRT’s for airfield shuttle service at Los Angeles International Airport, transporting passengers from terminals to new
super capacity aircraft. Also, the Regional Public Transportation Authority in Mesa, Arizona has ordered 10 CNG 60-BRT’s for express route and regular route applications in Arizona’s fast-growing Maricopa Valley.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.nabiusa.com/new.cfm?y=2005&n=787

July 8, 2005

NABI delivers 60-BRT buses for Orange Line

Ontario, CA— North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI) recently completed on-schedule delivery of 30 articulated buses to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in preparation for its Orange Line opening later this year.

“Our high-capacity, rail-like designed vehicles match precisely with L.A.’s planned BRT service,” said Bill Coryell, NABI Vice President of Sales. “It was our partnership with Metro that allowed us to create a vehicle that has the unique features it needs to be a success on the Orange Line.”



© LACMTA 2005: Image Courtesy of Metro
Artist rendering of NABI’s 60-BRT on Metro’s dedicated busway—dubbed the
Orange Line—in the San Fernando Valley.

Metro has ordered 200 NABI 60-BRT CNG buses, the first 30 of which will be deployed on the Orange Line, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system operating on a 14-mile dedicated busway through Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. NABI’s 60-BRT for Los Angeles features a streamlined front mask, totally concealed rooftop equipment, seating for 57 passengers, extra-wide doors, fender skirts, and reduced noise levels.

L.A.’s new BRT line includes off-board fare collection as well as real-time passenger information. The Orange Line’s dedicated busway provides another alternative for congestion relief in the L.A. region, much like the highly-successful Metro Rapid program.

Currently, Metro is operating 875 40-foot low-floor NABI buses, 100 45-foot CompoBuses and now 30 articulated buses in its fleet of 1,970 CNG buses.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.nabiusa.com/buses/product...d=9&link_id=32



GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
60-BRT

INTRODUCTION
NABI's high-capacity new-design 60-foot low-floor articulated bus is changing the paradigm of public transport--enabling operators to increase passenger capacity and appeal, especially to choice riders. Again NABI illustrates its leadership by creating a product that is responsive to industry trends such as bus rapid transit.

MAIN OPTIONS
Additional (center) exit door
Automatic passenger counter system
Automatic stop announcement system
Automatic vehicle monitoring system
Auxiliary coolant heater
Choice of front, side and rear destination sign systems
Choice of heating and air conditioning,
or heating only
Choice of passenger seating and arrangement
Choice of powertrain, including diesel
and alternate fuels
Choice of types and sizes of passenger doors
Conventional public address system
Disc brakes
GPS/AVL system
On-board video surveillance system
Up to two doors on the left side

GENERAL DIMENSIONS
Length 60'
Width 102"
Roof height 137"
Wheelbase 239" + 279"
Front overhang 88"
Rear overhang 123"
Approach angle 9º
Breakover angle 8.7º/10.2°
Departure angle 9º
Step height, entry door 15"
Step height, exit door 15.5"
Floor height, rear axle 34"
Headroom, front axle 97"
Headroom, rear axle 77"
Turn radius (outside) 44'

BODY CONSTRUCTION
Electrically welded carbon steel structure, with bonded FRP sheet roof, aluminum side skins and skirts, FRP end caps, and aluminum and FRP access doors. Structure is epoxy coated externally. Entire underfloor area is undercoated, as well as insides of roof and side skins undercoated to prevent drumming and condensate formation. Wheelhousings, main electrical compartment and battery compartment are stainless steel.

DOORS & WINDOWS
Extra wide, outward-opening plug type door. Narrow or wide outward-opening rear doors, or extra wide slide-glide rear doors. Rear doors glazed top and bottom, or top only. Vapor door panel mechanisms and controls, with driver and/or passenger control features.
Bright or black aluminum sash with FMVSS-217 emergency egress capability. Windows openable for ventilation at top only, bottom only, full height, or non-openable. Glass or scratch-resistant plastic glazing.

DRIVER ACCOMMODATIONS
Instruments and controls located on wrap-around instrument cluster and side console. Central on-board diagnostic panel using LED technology. Dedicated air conditioning booster with multi-speed control. Tilt/telescope steering wheel. Sliding driver's window with or without locking feature. Choice of driver's seat, sun visors, and mirrors using manual or remote control with heat/non-heat feature. Non-glazed driver's barrier in standard configuration or with special compartments for lunch box and fire extinguisher, as well as for Radio/AVL/AVM equipment.

PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS
Front or rear door wheelchair ramp and securement provisions for two wheelchair users, meeting ADA requirements. Seating for up to 60 passengers using shell-type, padded or cushioned seating, either cantilever or T-pedestal mounted. Stainless stanchion and grab rail system. Choice of floor covering, ceiling and sidewall trim.

POWERTRAIN
Cummins or Caterpillar engines and Allison or ZF transmissions with integral retarders, in T-drive arrangement, fully cradle-mounted for removal or installation in less than one hour. Over/under or side-by-side type radiator/CAC unit, with thermostatically controlled hydraulic fan.

SUSPENSION
ArvinMeritor (Rockwell) beam front axle with parallel upper torque rod, V-type lower torque rods, using dual air springs and dual telescopic shock absorbers.
ArvinMeritor (Rockwell) center and rear axles bolted to CH-type walking beams. V-type upper torque rods, parallel lower torque rods, quadruple air springs and quadruple telescopic shock absorbers for each walking beam.
Kneeling system, front or side.

STEERING
Chassis mounted, integral power steering gearbox.

BRAKES, WHEELS & TIRES
Bendix air brake system with ABS complying with FMVSS-121. ArvinMeritor(Rockwell) disc brakes with antilock feature. Single-piece steel or aluminum wheels, 8.25x22.5, hub or drum piloted, identical all positions. 305/70R22.5 tires.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
I/O Controls multiplex system with microprocessor-based programming logic control and optional pre-trip diagnostics. Delco oil-cooled or Neihoff air-cooled alternator. Type 8D or 1150 batteries. 12 volt incandescent or LED-type exterior lighting.

HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
Rear mount condenser and roof mounted evaporators with optional brushless motors. Optional floor-level heaters for extremely cold climates. Optional front and rear step heaters.

Last edited by greg_christine; October 17th, 2005 at 04:56 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 05:44 AM   #7
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^ Why do they always claim that those buses are "rail like". There is nothing rail like about them! They are just low articulated buses that you can find in so many cities around the world but transit operators in those cities don't say they are "rail like". They will still be the bumpy, uncomfortable, lumbering buses that are stigmatized by most commuters.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 06:11 AM   #8
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I think they shouldve splurged on light rail to be honest, a bus is a bus is a bus. Anyway definitely good news for LA, this is probably the most advanced bus line in North America.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #9
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is there money to make that into a rail line?? and in response to railness of it, i think it is kind of like a train.. it follows a "track" its long-ish, etc.. iono kinda trainlike to me
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Old October 17th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #10
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^ So are the interconnected tour buses in Universal Studios but they don't transform into trains, now do they?

Last edited by [email protected]; October 17th, 2005 at 07:06 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #11
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Holy Crap, these people stole my idea!
Right down to the shared bike-path in the right-of-way. I've been thinking it would be great to implement someting like this for Brisbane's inner suburbs for years. We already have BRT but its totally separate from street level.
Intellectual property theft, anyone?

And wow @ seating 57 passengers, they may as well just bought regular articulated buses. It would have been substantially cheaper than this fancy crap, I expected it to seat at least 70 seeing as its supposed to act as a train.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #12
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DR.JOE.......
While I gretly agree with you that this is good news for L.A. I don't think its the most advanced bus system in N.A. That honour goes to Ottawa with its Transitway although the buses are not as fancy.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #13
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Its a move in the right direction, especially considering building a more extensive subway system in LA is not feasible. So this should do a good job of providing Public Transit to an area so poorly served.

On the other hand i find the busses rather ugly and i am not so sure that they are the most advanced in NA. I would also say that the new VIVA system serving York Region-which is just north of Toronto, is just as advanced.

check out VIVA if you are interested!

http://www.vivayork.com/

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Old October 17th, 2005, 08:32 PM   #14
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^ York is definitely up there but it doesnt have ROW's yet, when it does it will be basically indentical to this one in LA though. ssiguy I know very little about Ottawa's busways to be honest which is kind of surprising. Is it basically a seperate road all together just used by buses???
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #15
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wow this is very disappointing, I was under the impression that the yellow line would be another light rail line..not a right of way for rapid bus transit.

la get your act together and extend that red line!!!
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Old October 18th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #16
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^It's the Orange line (not Yellow)

I still think they look pretty good. Better than nothing, right? Babysteps...
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Old October 18th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #17
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Systems like these hav aloready been in use in Latin American cities for decades. It really is nothing special.

I invite you to look at the public transportation systems of Bogota and Curitba.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #18
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good for people in S.F. valley...i wish they extend the line to Northridge area.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:38 AM   #19
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IMO this is a pretty pathetic solution for a city such as Los Angeles. Just spend the money building actual subways versus expanding the freeways!
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .affed
Systems like these hav aloready been in use in Latin American cities for decades. It really is nothing special.

I invite you to look at the public transportation systems of Bogota and Curitba.
thats true, like the Metro Bus in Mexico City

@ wally: i never said they transformed into trains. if thats all they can afford for now then it's fine. as samsonyuen said, babysteps
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