California,  Politics,  Transportation

Orange Line Busway Watch: US 101 Commuting Speeds Improved

The Los Angeles Daily News has 101 speeds ramped up since busway opened

The popular Metro Orange Line busway across the San Fernando Valley might be helping to ease traffic congestion on the Ventura Freeway during the morning commute.

The first attempt to gauge the busway’s impact on freeway volume found a slight improvement in the morning commute.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley studied commutes since the 14-mile Orange Line opened Oct. 29 and determined that traffic between 7 and 10 a.m. had sped up about 7 percent – from an average of 43 mph to 46 mph.

The study also found that the amount of time that morning commuters waste being stuck in congestion – defined as traffic slower than 35 mph – declined about 14 percent.

“The freeway is operating more efficiently,” said Hamed Benouar, director of the California Center for Innovative Transportation at Berkeley, which is primarily funded by the California Department of Transportation and conducts research for other government organizations.

Flap has always preferred to see a light rail system parallel to the 101. Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Baxter Ward’s plan to place monorail trains above the freeways comes to mind.

But, any improvement in commute times will be much appreciated.

The busway now handles about 16,400 passenger boardings a day, much higher than the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s initial estimates of 5,000 to 7,000 daily boardings. Officials don’t know how many of the Orange Line riders used to drive the freeway.

Now, do something about widening the freeways, making the HOV lanes available to all drivers during non-peak hours and inproving efficiency of freeway interchanges………

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