Tuesday, December, 14, 2004

News briefs from Southern California
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a revised, court-ordered environmental study for the $330 million Orange Line busway through the San Fernando Valley.

The MTA on Monday also approved spending nearly $8 million to get the project finished in time for its scheduled opening in August 2005. The Orange Line is about halfway completed and six months behind schedule.

The activist anti-Orange Line group Citizens Organized for Smart Transit said it plans to file an objection when the plan goes to court for approval. The group claims a system of buses in the valley would carry more riders than the 14-mile buses-only route.

Bart Reed, executive director of the Orange Line advocate group The Transit Coalition, said the busway will be a better option than putting more buses on city streets.

"Any time there's traffic, it's just a stuck rapid bus in local traffic," Reed said.

The Orange Line is expected to make the North Hollywood-to-Woodland Hills trip in 40 minutes.

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