Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Mayor Officially Opens Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit Lane

Mayor Eric Garcetti, surrounded by officials and Metro personnel, officially opened the 5.4 mile stretch of Rapid Bus Lanes along Wilshire Blvd on Wednesday morning.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, surrounded by officials and Metro personnel, officially opened the 5.4 mile stretch of Bus Rapid Transit lanes along Wilshire Blvd on Tuesday morning.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, local officials and Metro staff officially opened the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane along Wilshire Blvd early Tuesday morning under stormy skies and in front of the La Brea Tar Pits, announcing the new service as a “great example of how Los Angeles is moving forward.”

Metro-Rapid-Bus-Lane“This is a thoroughfare, Wilshire Blvd, that local writer Kevin Roderick once called the Grand Concourse of Los Angeles,” Garcetti said in the press event implying that it was finally beginning to live up to that designation.

Drivers in the Hancock Park and Mid-Wilshire areas certainly feel the difference: the curbs are clean and crisp and all six lanes of traffic are now smooth and pothole-free, except for at some major intersections where work on the underground subway is taking place, notably Fairfax and La Brea.

Drivers are only allowed in the lanes during peak hours if they need to make right turns. Similar to an HOV or bike lane, striped lines indicate where vehicles can enter the rapid transit lanes. Automobile drivers face fines and fees ranging from $100 to $500 if caught parking or driving in the lanes during peak hours, 7-9am and 4-7 pm, Monday-Friday. Metro says drivers should take extra care to signal their turn, and enter the lane only when approaching the intersection. A short ‘transition time’ will be allowed for automobile drivers to get acquainted to the new rules before tickets are issued.

Travel between downtown and the westside using the new Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit lane is expected to save bus riders up to 15 minutes of commute time each way. In addition to having sole use of the curb lane during peak rush hours, Metro will also be piloting “all door boarding” allowing people to get on and off more quickly at both front and back doors. With Phase 2 of the rapid bus project completed,  there is now 5.4 miles of continuous lane between South Park Ave and San Vicente Blvd, with an additional approximate mile of lane to be completed on further west in Phase 3.

Metro BRT map

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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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  1. Last week I tried the 720 Rapid Transit bus from Wilshire and La Brea to Wilshire and Westwood at 5:20 in the afternoon. That’s right all, it was rush hour. The buses come every few minutes. I walked on, paid my very reasonable fare to the friendly driver (check the MTA site for schedules and fares), smiled at the other passengers who smiled back, and relaxed into my easily found seat on a comfortable, very clean bus. I hardly had time to open my book since I arrived in 20 minutes! I followed two days later with the RT bus from Wilshire and Crenshaw to Wlishire and Westwood at 4:30 p.m. Even with a wait for a wheelchair passenger who was efficiently buckled in with care by the driver, it took me 25 minutes. Could I match that in my car? Of course not. It was significantly cheaper, less stressful, and certainly better for the environment.

    Thank you, Windsor Square neighbor Martha Welbourne for managing this amazing Rapid Transit coup.

    I am hooked. And now I am trying to convince my husband to commute by bus. The only glitch, of course, is getting to Wilshire. I had a ride, although it would not be a terrible morning and afternnon exercise walk. Perhaps one day we will have a jitney or car pools from Larchmont. Imagine the mornings: a nice walk to Our Boulevard, a civilized coffee and pastry at a neighborhood haunt with neighborhood friends, a short ride to connect to the bus, a relaxing ride to work–and all that in less time than it takes to fight traffic, risk fender benders or worse, and destroy our roads, air and temperaments. I like it!


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