A new high-tech and cost-effective bus system that uses clean-burning fuel will transport commuters from North Hollywood to Woodland Hills on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Orange Line beginning this fall.
The MTA purchased an old 14-mile railroad track in the early 1990s that runs parallel to Victory Boulevard, paving a route for buses that is less costly than traditional railroad transportation services.
The cost of the Orange Line is $330 million, compared with the $500-million cost of the Harbor Transitway, a busway that runs from downtown Los Angeles to Artesia, said Bart Reed, executive director of the Transit Coalition, a Sylmar-based non-profit transportation policy and advocacy organization.
“Buses will be available to connect the Orange Line for students wanting to commute to CSUN,” said Dave Sotero, Metro spokesperson.
Metro bus line 240 will connect students coming from the Reseda Metro Orange Line station to the campus.
Students with a $3 day pass can use the Orange Line on an unlimited basis, traveling throughout San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County.
“The Orange Line is like a subway on wheels that is roomy and spacious while staying right on schedule,” Reed said.
When an Orange Line bus comes to a traffic signal, the green light is extended while red lights are shortened, enabling buses to travel more quickly and efficiently. Buses will make stops every mile.
The 240-bus line offers services to CSUN approximately every 10 minutes during rush hour and about 15 minutes midday.
The Orange Line, using a new fleet of 60-foot buses, will employ high-tech cameras while 43 county employees, including L.A. sheriffs, monitor the buses and terminals at an operations center.
“L.A. County sheriffs have increased enforcement after the commuter bombings in London,” Sotero said.
Inspections will take place on buses using bomb-sniffing detection with L.A. County sheriffs’ dogs, while employing a comprehensive anti-terrorism package.
“Uniformed deputies and plain-clothes officers will be patrolling all three shifts,” said Lt. Patrick Jordan from the Transit Services Bureau.
Two anti-graffiti officers will be patrolling buses in addition to plain-clothes officers, Jordan said.
Reed said he believes CSUN inconvenienced students and faculty by keeping buses one-quarter mile away from campus.
“The college threw the buses off CSUN,” Reed said.
Serving a major university should be looked at as an asset and not an inconvenience, he said.
Reed said he believes there is a lack of student activism to protect public transportation for CSUN.
“If enough people get angry and voice their concerns, their pressure can make a difference with the status quo,” he said.
Reed would like to see a group of people take a stance for public transportation, and would like more people to ride buses on the Orange Line’s advanced-design vehicles.
“I think it will be beneficial for students and a lot less expensive than to use the (Orange Line),” said Astrid Logan, administrative analyst specialist for Public Safety and and Transportation at CSUN.
“The Orange Line doesn’t affect me because I come from the Antelope Valley,” said Brittany Noble, mathematics graduate student.
The Metro safety number for the Orange Line is 1-888-950-SAFE.
Kevin Grenon can be reached at email@example.com.