Metro Orange Line
Los Angeles, CA
Just to the west of the North Hollywood Red Line station is the Metro Orange Line. From the transit maps I had expected light rail, but was surprised to find a bus mass transit system. The line operates on a part of the right-of-way for the former Southern Pacific Railroad Burbank Branch that was purchased by the LA County Transportation Commission in 1991 with an eye toward extending the Red Line a further 14 miles west to the Warner Center. However, economic and political issues lead instead to construction of a $324 million bus mass transit system that began operation in 2005.
The system runs on an exclusive bus way, but has to stop sporadically at street crossings. The ride is smooth and fairly quick, but it's still a bus and not as comfortable a ride as heavy rail - although comparable with light rail and only 25% of the construction price of a subway.