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RTD REPORTS POSITIVE COMMUNITY RESPONSE AT ELECTRIC TROLLEY BUS MEETING; RTD BOARD APPROVES 12 LINES FOR MORE STUDY

RTD REPORTS POSITIVE COMMUNITY RESPONSE AT ELECTRIC TROLLEY BUS MEETING;
 RTD BOARD APPROVES 12 LINES FOR MORE STUDY
 LOS ANGELES, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A series of community meetings to inform the public and gather citizen input about the return of electric trolley buses (ETBs) to Los Angeles County yielded "outstanding support" from most of the approximately 300 county residents who attended them, the RTD board of directors was told March 12.
 The board approved 12 of the 49 RTD and municipal bus lines initially studied to be the first to receive ETBs, based largely on community feedback obtained at the meetings. The meetings were held between Feb. 17-26 at locations throughout the county where electric trolley bus lines are proposed.
 The 12 lines approved for further study are as follows:
 RTD:
 Line 16 (West Third Street)
 Line 18 (West 6th Street-Whittier Boulevard)
 Lines 30/31 (West Pico Boulevard-East 1st Street)
 Line 40 (South Bay Galleria-Transit Center-Hawthorne-Inglewood-Union
 Station-L.A. County Jail)
 Line 45 (Broadway)
 Lines 66/67 (West 8th Street-East Olympic Boulevard)
 Line 70 (Garvey Avenue)
 Lines 180/181 (Hollywood-Glendale-Pasadena)
 Line 204 (Vermont Avenue)
 Line 560 (Van Nuys Boulevard)
 Montebello Bus Lines:
 Line 10 (Whittier Boulevard)
 Long Beach Transit:
 Lines 40, 50, 60, 90 (Long Beach-Atlantic-Seventh-Anaheim)
 "The public interest in this project is vital," said Albert H. Perdon, RTD's director of Transit Systems Development, whose department is spearheading the electric trolley bus project. "Excellent questions were raised and answered. The majority of the comment sheets we received were supportive, with only a handful directly opposed to the plan. Most people believe this project will benefit transportation and air quality in Los Angeles."
 Manufacturing of buses in Los Angeles County, overhead power lines and tree planting were the most asked-about topics at the community meetings, Perdon said.
 District staff has proposed planting some 30,000 trees along trolley bus routes to reduce the visual impact of the overhead wires needed to provide electric power to the quiet, non-polluting buses and to beautify the street. Discussions are under way with manufacturers to build the ETBs in Los Angeles County.
 "The estimated cost to implement the first set of electric trolley bus lines will be determined as part of the current study," Perdon said. "Now that our board has identified the first set of candidate routes, we will work with city officials and community leaders to discuss everything from trees to street alignments."
 Air quality regulations require transit operators in Los Angeles County to convert 30 percent of their diesel bus fleets to zero- emissions vehicles by the year 2010. To meet this goal, RTD has joined with the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) and municipal bus operators to study the possibility of bringing state-of- the-art electric trolley buses back to Los Angeles after a nearly 30-year hiatus.
 The trolley buses could begin service in 1995 on up to four lines, if construction starts next year as planned. The Phase 1 system could encompass some 400 or more coaches by the year 2002. Trolley buses would replace diesel-powered buses on RTD and municipal lines chosen for conversion.
 "The ETBs will offer a number of benefits," Perdon noted. "They last longer and produce no tailpipe emissions. Some other changes the rider will notice are that the buses' electric motors are much quieter, and they are smoother-riding. Basic routes and service will be adjusted to more efficiently accommodate the use of electric buses."
 RTD staff will hold public hearings and additional discussions with community leaders and interested residents. By August 1992, RTD hopes to identify the three to four routes to receive the first set of electric trolley buses.
 -0- 3/13/92
 /CONTACT: Greg Davy or Jim Smart of RTD, 213-972-4400/ CO: Southern California Rapid Transit District ST: California IN: SU:


JL-CH -- LA012 -- 7861 03/13/92 14:13 EST
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Date:Mar 13, 1992
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