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Metro Approves North Hollywood Bus Rapid Transit Route Through Pasadena

Original proposal to dedicate lane of Colorado Blvd. to the buses is officially off the table in Pasadena, but not necessarily in Eagle Rock

Published on Monday, May 31, 2021 | 5:03 pm
The proposed route (in blue) for the North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor . (Metro)

About 5 years after Pasadena officials joined with Los Angeles City and Metro officials to celebrate the launch of the “NoHo to Pasadena Express” pilot bus service, plans for the actual bus rapid transit line got the thumbs up from Metro at a Board meeting last week.

Pasadena Vice Mayor Gene Masuda (lower left) and Mayor Terry Tornek (third from left) joined Los Angeles City and County officials in February, 2016 to celebrate the launch of the “NoHo to Pasadena Express” pilot bus service. Plans for the resulting North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor Project were approved by Metro last Thurday. (Eddie Rivera/Pasadena Now)

The $267-million, 18-mile project North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridor Project was approved by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) Board of Directors Thursday.

The project aims to build a “high-quality” BRT line that will connect the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, traveling east-west between the North Hollywood Metro B (Red)/G (Orange) Line Station and Pasadena City College with stops in Pasadena, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock.

“The City of Pasadena is pleased with … Metro decision which narrowed down the alternatives to be further studied in the next project phase, the Final EIR,” Transportation Director Laura Cornejo wrote in a statement to Pasadena Now. “In Pasadena, the alignment is proposed to operate along Colorado Blvd. within mixed flow travel lanes.  [i.e. there will not be a dedicated bus lane].”  

The project is funded by a sales tax measure approved by LA County voters in 2016, along with SB 1 gas tax and vehicle fees. 

The project is part of Metro’s Vision 2028 strategic plan to offer high-quality mobility options and outstanding trip experiences, while enhancing communities and lives. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.   

In May of 2019 when Metro first approved the start of the environmental review for the route, their staff studied the practicality of dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Blvd. between the North Hollywood Station and the Gold Line station at Memorial Park in Old Pasadena.  

That idea was taken off the table after former Mayor Terry Tornek objected in person at Metro board meetings in March and April of 2019.

“The mixed travel business just replicates what the gold line is doing now,” Tornek said back in 2019, “there was a bus route that already covered that rute, in fact, multiple lines. So the disruption that would have been generated by an exclusive bus lane on Colorado Boulevard, I think outweighed any potential benefit.”

“It was never the expectation that people would travel from PCC all the way to north Hollywood.  I objected to the addition of an exclusive bus lane service on Colorado Boulevard or even on the parent’s street from the gold line station to PCC; that was never part of the program. They just dropped that on us,” said Tornek.

“But the disruption that would’ve been engendered by an exclusive bus lane on Colorado Boulevard was the part that got my attention,” Tornek Continued.

As part of the project, Metro hosted in-person meetings and public hearings.

Metro received nearly 500 comments during the public comment period after the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

“The City will continue to work with Metro in addressing comments that were submitted during the Draft EIR public comment phase,” Cornejo said.  “I, along with a multi-disciplinary team within the department will be working closely with Metro during the next project phase.”

According to Metro, staff will further refine the design and configuration of the route in coordination with the cities along the corridor and additional public input. Staff anticipate returning to the board with the project’s EIR later this year.

For more information about the North Hollywood to Pasadena BRT Project, visit

View Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan

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