The Metropolitan Transit Authority has dragged its heels for years on extending rail service to West Hollywood. But the Creative City has come up with a creative solution for at least part of the problem.
West Hollywood’s Cityline is making a run from WeHo to the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line station to help commuters get to downtown L.A. without using their cars. The service, dubbed CitylineX, started with a “soft launch” on Monday.
There will be several promotional “pop-ups” along Santa Monica Boulevard next week to inform local residents about the new service. A CitylineX launch celebration offering “tacos and transit” will officially unveil the new service with snacks and refreshments on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Auto Court, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. The launch celebration is free and open to the public.
“The City of West Hollywood is always looking for innovative ways to provide transportation alternatives that give people an opportunity to move around without cars,” said Mayor Lindsey Horvath. “CitylineX will provide a more direct link between West Hollywood and Metro Red Line service at Hollywood and Highland, and this will improve regional connectivity.”
CitylineX will operate during morning and evening commuting hours on weekdays, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., bookending regular Cityline service, which runs within West Hollywood.
CitylineX will offer seven trips in the morning and five trips in the evening, with mini-bus shuttles providing service at approximately 15- to 20-minute intervals. Eastbound shuttles will depart from the West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. and will follow a route along Santa Monica Boulevard to Hollywood and Highland. Westbound shuttles will depart from the west side of Highland Avenue (just south of Hollywood Boulevard, just north of Hawthorn Avenue) and will travel along Santa Monica Boulevard to the West Hollywood Library. The last evening shuttle will depart each weekday at approximately 7 p.m. Both CitylineX and Cityline are free. More information about CitylineX and Cityline is available online.
The Santa Monica Boulevard “pop ups” will feature free coffee mugs and umbrellas. The time and place of them is as follows:
• Monday, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., adjacent to 24-Hour Fitness, located at 8612 Santa Monica Blvd. just east of Westbourne (in the event of rain, the pop-up will move to West Hollywood City Hall);
• Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., adjacent to West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd. at Sweetzer — (in the event of rain, the pop-up will move to West Hollywood City Hall);
• Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., adjacent to Starbucks, located at 8595 Santa Monica Blvd. at Westmount — (in the event of rain, the pop-up will move to West Hollywood City Hall),
• Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., adjacent to Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd. near North Fuller — (in the event of rain, the pop-up will move to the Community Center).
CitylineX service was approved by the West Hollywood City Council as a six-month pilot program through June 2016. City transportation staff members will assess the program and its ridership during the pilot. The scheduling of CitylineX service during peak commute hours provides the city with the opportunity to test the program with existing resources, without interrupting the current Cityline route, which will continue its regular route from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, within the City of West Hollywood.
The CitylineX launch follows several West Hollywood City Council actions in support of expanding regional transit options. The West Hollywood City Council recently approved a plan to conduct outreach and to build regional partnerships in support of a Metro Rail project that would extend the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line to West Hollywood and connect to the Metro Red Line. The proposed Crenshaw/LAX Northern Extension light-rail transit line would provide critical north-south connections and enhance the existing Metro regional rail network.
To organize local support for the Crenshaw/LAX Northern Extension Project, the West Hollywood City Council, in July 2015, unanimously called for the formation of a local advocacy committee, West Hollywood Advocates for Metro (WHAM), and established a City Council subcommittee to work directly with staff and Metro to secure the light rail line for the City.
In preparation for a potential 2016 Metro county-wide ballot measure, the city has been coordinating with the L.A. County and Metro to expand a 2010 Metro preliminary study of several alternative extensions of the Crenshaw light-rail line. The “Crenshaw/LAX Northern Extension Feasibility Study” has subsequently been funded by Metro and consultant teams are currently being selected. The feasibility study will commence in early 2016.
More information about CitylineX and Cityline, including links to schedules and maps, is available online or by contacting Perri Sloane Goodman, Transportation Program administrator, at (323) 848-6370 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.