Riders taking the rapid bus line 733 will soon experience a shorter commute because the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority will set up bus traffic priority signals along the route.
Engineers will install sensors on traffic lights that will communicate with a bus’ GPS signal to switch lights to green as buses approach intersections. The $6.2 million slated for this project is funded by federal grants and local savings Metro garnered when it cancelled two underperforming lines, Central and Manchester.
The Rapid 733 currently makes the 14-mile trip from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica in about an hour. About 13,000 passengers board the bus daily, according to Martha Butler, Metro director of regional transit planning.
“We don’t know yet exaclty how much faster the service will be,” said Anna Chen, Metro spokesperson.
However, other bus lines with a signal priority system shorten trip times by about 8 percent, according to Butler.
Los Angeles already has hundreds of priority sensors installed throughout the city. The sensors along the 733 line should be operational by June 2014.
“I’ve been a tireless advocate for a rapid line on Venice,” Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the 11th District and chairs the city’s transportation committee, said in a statement. “My constituents will be thrilled to hear that a shorter commute is on the horizon. Thank you Metro for keeping your commitment that traffic signal priority would be installed in the district."