A faster Metro Orange Line through the San Fernando Valley? It's on track

WOODLAND HILLS >> The Metro Orange Line busway now ferries 25,000 passengers each working day across the San Fernando Valley. But there’s a problem.

A transit dogleg that sends the giant buses to just one stop in Warner Center is mostly empty of commuters and shoppers.

So the Metro transit agency has proposed swapping it with a Warner Center shuttle bus that would swing by numerous offices and malls from Woodland Hills to Canoga Park as part of a pending $1.7 billion Orange Line makeover.

“We feel these improvements will help the Orange Line operate more efficiently and meet our customer needs better,” said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “It’s basically a concept.

“We’re gathering responses from Warner Center and local stakeholders.”

Sweeping upgrades for the Orange Line, approved by passage of the Measure M sales tax in November, include ways to speed up the nearly 15-mile bus rapid transit line from North Hollywood to Warner Center. An extension then hooks north to Chatsworth.

Voter-approved improvements include building bridges or underpasses to create grade separations between cars and buses, then an eventual conversion to light rail.

Groundbreaking for the $286 million Orange Line grade separations is set for 2019. Construction of the $1.4 billion rail line is scheduled to start in 2051.

Until then, the transit agency announced this week on its Source blog some key interim…

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