MTA Awarded $2 Million for Transit Study

An effort to identify ways of making public transit more efficient in the Van Nuys area received a $2 million boost today from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The federal agency awarded a grant to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will use the funds to analyze transit alternatives in the San Fernando Valley and pay for support work on other sales-tax funded projects.

"The funding will be used for the review of transit alternatives for the Van Nuys corridor and help Metro improve its transit-forecasting model, which will benefit a host (of) 30/10 transit projects now in the pipeline," County Supervisor and Metro board chairman Don Knabe said.

The Van Nuys project is aimed at improving transit on a 10-mile portion of the boulevard between Ventura and Foothill boulevards, according to Metro. Bus ridership in that area is among the highest in the county, but traffic congestion and overcrowding often lead to transit delays, Metro officials said.

Metro plans to study various possible alternatives, including bus rapid transit, light rail and streetcars, as potential ways of relieving the congestion. The study is part of the East San Fernando Valley North-South Rapidways project. More than $68 million in Measure R transportation sales tax funds have been earmarked for the project.

"Van Nuys Boulevard is a key route for buses and a lifeline to the Valley economy," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

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