Up and down the Westside, Mike is working on solutions, and on providing alternatives to traffic gridlock with a series of projects and initiatives we are calling Westside Fast Forward.
“Being stuck in gridlock is miserable, but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. I’m determined to work with you to create a better transportation system – a system where everyone has more choices and options to move around easily, efficiently and conveniently. It’s about mobility for all.”
From rail, to bus, to bike, with big regional projects and small neighborhood improvements, we’re working on the alternatives that you and a city of forward-looking people demand and deserve.
Find out more about the variety of solutions already in the works, as well as those on the horizon – and take a survey to offer your input – below.
Wilshire Subway Coming to the Westside
Metro broke ground in November 2015 on the first section of the long-awaited extension of the Purple Line subway to the Westside of Los Angeles. On May 24, 2021, Mike joined Mayor Garcetti, outgoing Metro CEO Phil Washington, and FTA Acting Administrator Nuria Fernandez at the groundbreaking for the third and westernmost section. The full nine-mile project will bring fast, reliable mass transit to some of LA’s busiest destinations including Miracle Mile, Century City, Westwood, VA Hospital and Brentwood. Upon completion, future riders will enjoy a 20-minute trip from the Westside to Downtown Los Angeles.
Crenshaw Line Nearing Completion
The Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line is finishing construction of its 8.5-mile route from the existing Metro Expo (E) Line at Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards to the Metro Green (C) Line and will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo, and nearby unincorporated communities. Riders will be able to make easy connections with the Metro Rail system, municipal bus lines and other regional transportation services.
Connecting Rail to LAX
On March 14, 2019, Mike and officials from Los Angeles World Airports broke ground on the new Automated People Mover at LAX – a 2.25-mile elevated tram that will connect travelers to trains, to a new rental car center, to a transit hub, and to airport terminals.
Once it is open in 2023, the free elevated tram service will allow passengers to avoid the notorious congestion in the central terminal area. When the new state-of-the-art Airport Metro Connector station opens in 2024, the tram will provide users of mass transit – including Metro rail – a convenient way to avoid a car trip to and from the airport altogether. That means fewer cars on Westside roads.
Dynamic Ramp Metering on Sunset
The Dynamic Corridor Ramp Metering System (DCRMS) is an innovative technology that eases congestion and reduces travel times on the 405 Freeway between the 10 and the 101 and on connecting streets. It coordinates Caltrans ramp meters and nearby City traffic signals, enabling intelligent real-time management of both systems. Mike secured funding for this regionally significant project as part of his Sunset Traffic Solutions initiative to reduce gridlock on Sunset Boulevard and the project will be complete and fully operational in summer 2021.
Next Gen Bus Plan
In 2020, Metro approved the NextGen Bus Plan, the first overhaul of its bus network in 25 years. Metro began implementation in December 2020 and will make the most significant changes concurrently with bus service restoration in June and September 2021. The NextGen bus network is designed to be more useful for riders by providing fast, frequent, and reliable service on a core network of lines. Changes to bus routes will be combined with bus speed improvements, such as bus stop relocation, transit signal priority, and bus lanes on heavily traveled corridors. The result will be a better bus system that fits your lifestyle, integrates with all the ways you travel throughout LA County, and gets you where you need and want to go, with flexibility for the future.
LAnow Neighborhood Shuttles
LAnow is a new on-demand shared-ride service for Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, and Palms. Hail a ride through the LAnow smartphone app, online or by phone. Once reserved, meet the shuttle at the scheduled LAnow pick-up/drop-off spot. This service is an easy way to connect you to popular destinations including the Palms Expo line to get you where you need to be without having to hop in your car. (LAnow is temporarily suspended due to the Safer At Home public health order. Service will be relaunched in 2021.)
As part of the NextGen Bus Plan, Metro is launching a new microtransit service called Metro Micro. Like LAnow, this new on-demand shared-ride service complements regular bus service by providing a convenient option for short trips around the neighborhood and to connect to regional transit like the Green (C) Line and future Crenshaw/LAX Line. Metro Micro launched first in the Westchester/LAX neighborhood in December 2020 with service during commute hours to provide last-mile connections from regional transit to workplaces throughout the airport vicinity. In Fall 2020, Metro Micro is expected to launch in the Westwood/UCLA/Brentwood area.
Funding New Traffic Signals
Westside Fast Forward has identified critical signal and intersection improvements throughout the district that will help move people more efficiently and safely. Over three dozen intersection improvements were funded in 2019, including left-turn phasing, enhanced pedestrian crosswalks, and entirely new signals. An additional 9 signal projects were funded in May 2021. Projects were selected based on constituent requests and LADOT traffic and safety data. Construction of these initial projects is now underway and some have already been completed.
Find out more about how we are funding these new traffic signals at https://11thdistrict.com/issues/westside-mobility-plan/.
Mocean Car Share
In April 2021, Mike joined the Mocean Carshare team to launch a new service in West Los Angeles/Sawtelle. Mocean Carshare enables drivers to quickly and conveniently rent a hybrid-electric vehicle at an affordable price. Mocean Carshare is the only transportation service in Los Angeles that enables drivers to pick up and drop off vehicles anywhere in a designated home zone, providing maximum convenience and flexibility for users. This on-demand service helps reduce congestion on the street and at the curb; research shows a single shared car can eliminate the need for between seven and 11 privately owned vehicles. Carshare gives people the freedom to use other ways to get around—like transit, walking, and biking—while knowing that a car is there for them if they need it.
Metro Bike Share
In May 2021, Metro Bike Share relaunched with electric bikes on the Westside! The program has expanded to now include Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, West LA, and Palms. This convenient service is perfect for short trips to neighborhood destinations or connecting to the Expo Line. Once your TAP card is registered online, you can TAP to pick up a bike. Ride anywhere and drop off at a station in 30 minutes for just $1.75.
Dockless Bikes and Scooters
Dockless scooters, bikes, and other devices, when regulated, provide a viable alternative to getting around the Westside. They provide a critical first/last-mile option for people getting to destinations that are just out of reach via walking. After a successful pilot program, the City Council approved a permanent regulatory program to make these devices a reliable mobility option for residents and commuters. The permanent program adds new rules and strengthens enforcement to ensure that companies are fully compliant with the City’s rules. The City is also adding designated parking areas to help keep sidewalks clear in busy areas. Residents can report improperly parked scooters by calling 311, using the myLA311 app, or going online to https://myla311.lacity.org/.
Lincoln Fast Forward
LADOT and Caltrans are working together to deliver safety and mobility improvements on Lincoln Boulevard in Venice. This project will make it safer for people to cross Lincoln Boulevard with new and upgraded crosswalks throughout the corridor. A new bus-only lane will provide Santa Monica Big Blue Bus transit riders with faster, more reliable service and ease overall congestion on Lincoln. Find out more at https://ladotlivablestreets.org/projects/lincoln.
On the Horizon
Sepulveda Transit Corridor
In March 2021, Metro awarded Project Development Agreement contracts to two private sector teams aiming to connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, and eventually to LAX. These contracts are the first public-private partnership deals of their kind, potentially unlocking innovative solutions and cost-saving methods to accelerate the delivery of this high-profile transit project. Metro’s feasibility study, completed in 2020, explored a range of high-capacity rail and monorail transit alternatives that will connect to existing and planned Metro bus and rail lines, including the Orange, Purple, and Expo Lines. As the project enters environmental review, details such as the alignment and station locations will be considered for the various rail alternatives.
Crenshaw and Green Line Extensions
The Green Line Extension to Torrance Project is studying passenger transit service options along a four-mile segment of the Harbor Subdivision Corridor from the existing Redondo Beach Marine Station to the proposed Regional Transit Center (RTC) in Torrance. The extension will be served by the Metro Green and Crenshaw/LAX Lines. This extension will provide congestion relief along the busy I-405 corridor. It will also improve mobility in southwestern LA County by accessing the regional rail network through connections to the Metro Blue and Expo Lines.
Bus Rapid Transit for Major Corridors
The first bus lane on the Westside was installed on Wilshire Boulevard, helping speed transit riders through traffic congestion on this major corridor. The voter-approved Measure M expenditure plan includes a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line on Lincoln Boulevard. Other major corridors on the Westside have been identified as potential candidates for further study. BRT has enormous potential to provide cost-effective travel time improvements for new and current transit riders, making transit a good choice for more trips around the Westside. Westside Fast Forward will pursue quick-build approaches to delivering BRT that can speed up buses sooner. In 2021, the Wilshire bus lanes in Council District 11 will receive a splash of red paint, part of an innovative pilot project to help keep them clear of cars.
Lincoln Boulevard Bridge
A project to fix the notorious bottleneck on Lincoln Boulevard between Marina Del Rey and Playa Vista is currently under environmental review. The proposed project would widen the bridge to add a lane of traffic on Lincoln while also adding sidewalks and bike lanes that connect Playa Vista to the Park to Playa trail along Ballona Creek, one of the Westside’s premier bike paths.
Transportation Management Organizations
Mike is leading the charge to update the City’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance to require developers and large employers to provide transit passes and other mobility options to their employees and residents. Mike envisions a future where everyone in Los Angeles has a TAP card in their wallet that they can use on every mode of transportation they ride throughout the day.
Development Fees to Pay for Improvements
The Westside Mobility Plan is a funding framework that requires developers to pay for much-needed transportation and traffic-related projects. Projects funded by these developer fees will ease congestion, improve safety, and provide a range of options for people who live, work, and play on the Westside.