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Metro orange line BRT project evaluation.
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Metro orange line BRT project evaluation.
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    FTA Report No. 0004
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  • Abstract:
    In partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute (NBRTI) conducted an evaluation of the Metro Orange Line BRT service, which debuted in October 2005 as one of the first full-service BRT lines in the U.S. and the first exclusive busway in Los Angeles. The 14.5-mile Orange Line runs east-west through the San Fernando Valley, connecting the Warner Center mall and office complex in Woodland Hills to the Red Line subway in North Hollywood. The Orange Line runs almost entirely along an at-grade, dedicated busway within an abandoned rail right-of-way. The line’s 14 stations are similar in design to light rail stations, with canopied platforms, real-time information, covered seating, lighting, bicycle parking, automated fare collection machines, and public art. The project also includes extensive native landscaping along the corridor and a bicycle and pedestrian path parallel to the busway. The Orange Line operates on a headway-based schedule and uses a pre-paid, proof-of-payment fare system. The final evaluation report contains a comprehensive overview of the Orange Line, including a historical narrative; a profile of project elements, project costs, issues in planning, design, and implementation; technology applications; and a “lessons learned” summary. The report also provides an evaluation of project performance by analyzing data on capacity, travel time, reliability, and safety and security. For the examination of travel-time performance, run-time data were collected and analyzed, providing insight into the directional and temporal components of running time, and producing a useful “before” dataset for future study of the project. The performance evaluation also includes an analysis of data from NBRTI’s on-board survey of user perceptions and satisfaction and an assessment of the project’s image and brand identity. The report concludes with an overall appraisal of the Orange Line’s benefits, including assessments of ridership, financial feasibility, transit supportive land development, environmental quality, and overall performance of the Orange Line in meeting project goals.

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