(left to right) Michael Cano (San Fernando Valley Service Council Chair); Art Leahy (Metro CEO), Paul Krekorian (Los Angeles City Councilman, Dist. 2); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.


VAN NUYS (CNS) – An express bus service that is expected to cut travel time between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside by about 20 minutes began operating Monday, Dec. 15.

The Valley-Westside Express bus service will use San Diego (405) Freeway carpool lanes to take Metro riders between Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley and Westwood. Metro completed the freeway’s northbound carpool lanes in May. The southbound carpool lanes opened in 2009.

Trips between the Valley and the Westside on existing bus service use surface streets, including Sepulveda Boulevard, and take about an hour to travel each way.

The Valley-Westside Express route, which will run every 15 minutes during peak morning and afternoon hours, will be serviced by 45-foot buses made of lightweight material that enables them to travel at freeway speeds.

The faster service “is targeted at one of L.A.’s most notorious choke points” and will also “reduce the number of cars on the 405 to reduce congestion for us all,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who chairs the Metro Board of Directors.

City Councilman Paul Krekorian said the service will “create a critical north-south linkage to existing transit lines and shave precious minutes off of morning and evening commutes.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the service “offers a better way to connect UCLA, Warner Center and other economic centers, institutions, businesses and residential neighborhoods in both the Valley and Westside.”