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ORANGE LINE MAY ADD AN EXPRESS BUS MOVE WOULD CUT FIVE MINUTES FROM TRIP TO WARNER CENTER.

Byline: SUE DOYLE

Staff Writer

Transportation officials are considering adding an express route to the Orange Line that only stops at certain stations, shaving a few minutes off the 45-minute trip.

Running during rush hour only, the bus would start in North Hollywood, hit stops where ridership is highest and end at Warner Center, according to a recent study from Metro's San Fernando Valley Service Sector.

Total time savings? A mere five minutes. After all, this is Los Angeles, and there's no escaping traffic.

Still, to some Orange Line passengers, the extra five minutes was a steal.

"For anybody commuting (who) needs to get to work, five minutes is gold," said Michael Anderson, who rides the entire 14-mile route every day to his auditing job in Woodland Hills. "I would definitely take it."

Under the study, which a Metro committee will review in September, the bus would hit the street Monday through Friday.

Proposed station stops include: Warner Center, Canoga, Pierce College, Reseda, Balboa, Sepulveda, Van Nuys, Valley College and North Hollywood.

Although riders like Anderson making long commutes on the Orange Line would get home faster with the express bus, others at stations where it does not stop could see their wait times double because every other bus on the route during rush hour would be an express, said Michael Brewer, San Fernando Valley Service Sector development manager.

In the end, there is not any real savings with the express line in this study, said Kymberleigh Richards of the San Fernando Valley Governance Council.

"It would inconvenience more people," Richards said. "The impact to passengers at stops in between makes this not worth it."

Consideration for an Orange Line express bus comes as its ridership hit an all-time high, with 25,475 weekday boardings reported in June.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is also pushing for an express to serve the Orange Line.

"Adding an express line is part of the effort to give people real alternatives to using their cars," said Janelle Erickson, spokeswoman for the mayor.

Riding the Orange Line to work Monday through Saturday, Ana Reyes of Los Angeles said an express route would make her life easier, but having more bus service on weekends would be even better.

"Especially on Saturdays," the 56-year-old woman said. "It's just not fast enough."

sue.doyle@dailynews.com

(818) 713-3746
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 3, 2007
Words:389
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