LADOT's Presence in the Valley

It took LADOT four years -- almost to the day -- to expand service in the San Fernando Valley, after taking over operation of former RTD Lines 413, 419, and 423 in 1987 (although they did extend Lines 419 and 423 to USC in July, 1988 and extended Line 423 to Newbury Park in 1989; the latter was reversed in 2010). However, in the 1990s LADOT was reasonably ambitious, creating five new Commuter Express lines and five DASH lines serving the Valley:

COMMUTER EXPRESS

Line 549 between Encino and Pasadena via Burbank and Glendale -- originally proposed as RTD Line 525 -- began operation October 22, 1991. It was realigned to also serve Sherman Oaks and North Hollywood on December 13, 1993. It was further realigned to serve North Hollywood Station February 12, 2007 (at the same time, the western turnaround loop in Sherman Oaks and Encino was made more bi-directional).

Line 409 between Sylmar and downtown L.A. began operation May 18, 1992. It was realigned as part of the San Fernando Valley Transit Restructuring Study implementation on June 26, 1995.

Line 573 between Granada Hills and Century City via Northridge, Encino and Westwood started the same day as Line 409 (May 18, 1992). It was subsequently extended to Santa Clarita September 20, 1993, and was cutback to the original routing August 30, 1999. (But this was not the first proposed Valley-to-Century City service; in 1980, RTD came within one month of establishing Line 570.)

Line 574 between Granada Hills and El Segundo via Northridge and Encino began service one week after Line 573 (May 26, 1992). It was extended to Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station on March 7, 1994.

(Lines 409, 573 and 574 were supposed to begin operation in December 1991, but LADOT encountered delays in acquiring equipment for them; Line 549 began service with second-hand, manual transmission buses and did not get newer equipment until almost one year later.)

Line 575 between Simi Valley and Warner Center started September 20, 1993 (concurrent with the extension of Line 573 to Santa Clarita). There were minor changes to the line in 2004 (realigned via De Soto Ave. with a stop added at Chatsworth Metrolink, based on a 1994 San Fernando Valley Transit Restructuring Study proposal) and 2005 (stops in Simi Valley consolidated into a single terminal at Simi Valley Metrolink). Line 575 was cancelled August 1, 2010 (last day of service was July 30).

Line 422 (reverse direction version of Line 423) was created on February 16, 1998 as a MTA line operated by LADOT as part of the New Service Program required under the Consent Decree.

This map shows all of the above-listed lines, with the exception of their routings in downtown Los Angeles and the southernmost portion of Line 574:

Commuter Express Map


Maps of individual Commuter Express routings are accessible via the History Matrix.



DASH
(All maps show original routings at time of implementation.)

DASH Van Nuys-Studio City began service April 27, 1992.
DASH Van Nuys-Studio City

In addition, a peak-hour variation, a shuttle between the Van Nuys Metrolink Station and Valley College (also shown as a dashed purple line on the first map), operated from April 5, 1993 until January 15, 1999; it was replaced the following Monday by DASH Panorama City-Van Nuys.
Metrolink Shuttle

DASH Warner Center began operation September 20, 1993, using the same equipment as Line 575 (Commuter Express peak-hours, DASH middays).
DASH Warner Center

DASH Sherman Oaks operated from December 2, 1994 until July 30, 1999.
DASH Sherman Oaks

DASH Panorama City-Van Nuys began service January 18, 1999 (based on a 1994 San Fernando Valley Transit Restructuring Study proposal).
DASH Panorama City-Van Nuys

DASH Panorama City-Van Nuys was realigned around the beginning of 2000 to operate via Sepulveda Blvd. between Parthenia and Lanark Sts. and on Vanowen St. between Sylmar and Hazeltine Aves.
DASH Panorama City-Van Nuys

DASH Northridge began service July 1, 2000; it had originally been introduced August 17, 1998 as a Smart Shuttle circulator.
DASH Northridge

DASH Chatsworth began service in November, 2000.
DASH Chatsworth

DASH Northridge was extended south to Sherman Way November 4, 2002; on the same date DASH Chatsworth became a peak-hour only "commuter service" route as part of DASH Northridge. The commuter service route was cancelled August 1, 2010 (last day of operation July 30) and DASH Northridge was extended one-half mile to the west via Parthenia St.-Corbin Ave.-Nordhoff Way, replacing the Tampa Ave. route segment.
DASH Northridge/Chatsworth

Effective with the start of the Metro Orange Line on October 30, 2005, DASH Warner Center began all-day operation on two restructured routes. It ran until July 31, 2010.
DASH Warner Center



Beginning in October, 1994 and continuing until 1997, LADOT operated scheduled services in the Sunland-Tujunga area and the West Valley as an outgrowth of its CityRide paratransit program. They also operated the Smart Shuttle "demonstration program" from September 15, 1997 to September 30, 2001.

LADOT commissioned a city-wide study of its DASH routes in 2003, the results of which were released in March, 2005. A timetable for implementation of recommended changes and new expansion routes has not yet been set, and given the financial realities that forced service reductions in 2010 it does not seem likely to happen without revisiting the study.

(Thanks to Edmund Buckley of Western Transit and Phil Aker of LADOT for their assistance in confirming dates.)




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