The signs were installed this week, and we imagine the tickets will soon be written soon for those using the Bus Rapid Transit lanes along Wilshire during rush hour.
The right, curb lane, now smoothly paved and striped, is to be a dedicated bus-only lane during the hours of 7-9 am, and 4-7 pm, Mondays through Fridays. Drivers are only allowed to enter the lane when making right turns on to side streets at the dotted line segment during the specific hours. Bicycles are allowed any time so we may see an increase in cyclists along the busy corridor.
This LA Dept of Transportation (LADOT) project adds 7.7 miles of bus rapid transit (BRT) lanes, and 9.9 miles of other street improvements, such as repaving, re-striping, and updated signage on Wilshire Bl. from downtown to the Santa Monica city limits. This will not include Beverly Hills and the “condo canyon” section of Westwood: residents put pressure on City officials to not allow bus-only lanes there.
According to METRO this project will decrease bus passenger travel times by about 24% – around fifteen minutes – and is hoped to increase ridership by 15-20%. Metro says these buses carry more commuters along the Wilshire corridor than cars do during peak hours, and this will get more people to their work on time.
We called LAPD’s West Traffic Division to find out what the fine will be for drivers not heeding the new rush hour lane rules. The LAPD spokesperson there said the fines are determined by the LA court system (Metropolitan Court downtown in this case) and that the officers who write tickets do not know what the fine will be.
Drive the rapid lane during rush hour, and you may be one of the first to learn what the fine is. But you’ll have to pay it too.