Bus riders may now zoom past cars stuck in rush hour traffic on Wilshire Boulevard, thanks to newly dedicated lanes that were recently unveiled. The congested stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of Koreatown and the Miracle Mile area, is one of the most heavily traveled during rush hour, with thousands of people going to and from work.
“If we want to reduce pollution and traffic congestion, increasing use of our public transportation system should be a priority,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas promised during a recent press conference unveiling the second phase of the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit Project. “These lanes might bring some relief to the many Angelenos who use public transportation as their main means to get around town.”
Designed to speed up the rush-hour commute by up to 15 minutes, the project calls for creating 7.7 miles of bus-only lanes at 7-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. on weekdays. At other times of the day, the lanes would be open to all traffic. Already, nearly two miles of bus-only lanes have been allocated on Wilshire between Western Avenue and Park View Street near MacArthur Park. This second phase will go as far west as San Vicente Boulevard. The last phase, expected to be completed in September, will take the bus-only lanes into West Los Angeles.
The Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit System’s total cost is $31.5 million, with federal funding covering about 75 percent of the cost and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the City of Los Angeles contributing $8.2 million.