Rising fuel prices have driven more people to opt for public transportation, which was part of Metro’s motivation to expand its service, though the expansion had been in the works for years, said Jano Baghdanian, Glendale’s traffic and transportation administrator.
“There is definitely a shift,” he said. “There is an increase in rail service and bus service that has impacted us. We’ve had to revise our Beeline express service to accommodate more passengers.”
Metro’s Rapid Lines were first established in 2000 as part of a pilot project that featured two routes: one in the city of Los Angeles, along Wilshire Boulevard; and one in the San Fernando Valley, down Ventura Boulevard, Metro spokesman Rick L. Jager said.
Its popularity grew as riders were able to shave time off their commutes in buses that, using transponders, could hold green lights up to 10 seconds longer and delay red lights by 10 seconds while stopping at fewer destinations.
Each stop is strategically placed at most major transfer points and spaced about three-fourths of a mile apart, similar to rail lines, Jager said.
“They just became extremely popular with our patrons,” he said. “It was faster service, more reliable service.”
There are now 20 Rapid Lines in operation throughout the county, including one that currently serves Glendale and Pasadena, part of more than 300 miles of Rapid lines, he said.
Metro’s six new lines on Monday will add 80 miles to the sprawling network of buses, Jager said.
“Once all 29 lines are implemented, we will have a network of 420 miles of Rapid Lines in operation throughout the county . . . at a cost of $128 million,” he said.