Responding to community requests, the Southern California Rapid Transit District will modify an existing bus route between La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta, adding service to a one-mile stretch of Foothill Boulevard that previously was not served by public transportation.
Starting July 28 for a six-month trial, the RTD will alter its Glendale to Duarte route so that the No. 177 bus travels along Foothill Boulevard between Ocean View Boulevard and La Crescenta Avenue, said RTD senior planner Russell Wilson.
Community leaders in La Crescenta, Montrose, Sunland-Tujunga and La Canada Flintridge began lobbying the RTD in March for expanded routes. They say that through service along Foothill may save some bus passengers as much as an hour of transfers and waits.
"I'm very pleased," said Judy Marley, manager of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce and a leader in negotiations with the RTD. She said she hopes the new bus route will attract more shoppers to Foothill Boulevard stores.
Lack of public transportation especially hurt elderly residents and small merchants along Foothill, the area's biggest commercial thoroughfare, Marley said.
With the new routing, RTD buses will run the length of Foothill Boulevard between Sunland-Tujunga and La Canada Flintridge. However, riders who want to travel the full length of Foothill will have to change buses at La Crescenta Avenue.
Community leaders also considered operating a privately run shuttle bus along Foothill, but costs were prohibitive and the communities were unable to secure money from Los Angeles County, Marley said.
RTD officials say they will study bus use during the six-month trial to see whether the new route attracts additional riders. To accommodate the increased service, the RTD plans to discontinue service on two stops along Ocean View between Foothill and Montrose Avenue where use is "very light," Wilson said.
With the new routing, the Number 177 bus will travel north along Ocean View to Foothill, where it will turn left. At La Crescenta, the bus will head south, turning east on Montrose Avenue. At Ocean View, it will turn right and head south to Glendale.