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Angeles County | Community News File / Boyle Heights

Alatorre Unveils Bus Service Plan

July 21, 1998

With the Eastside subway project stalled, city officials unveiled a plan Monday to improve bus service to transit-dependent neighborhoods.

City Councilman Richard Alatorre announced the plan for the Eastside and Mid-City areas during a news conference in Boyle Heights.

The $20-million "priority" bus plan by the Department of Transportation was requested by the City Council during June budget talks to fill a gap in services left by the suspended subway project.

It is similar to a recent study by the Southern California Assn. of Governments, but James Okazaki, the city's transit chief, said the Transportation Department's plan could be implemented faster.

Unlike the association's study, the Transportation Department's assumes that the subway might one day be built.

The Transportation Department study calls for plans to:

* Modify street signals to speed up bus traffic.

* Expedite fare collection and bus entry and departure.

* Make improvements to bus stations to improve their function, appearance, safety and cleanliness.

* Implement the use of high-capacity, 60-foot, three-door buses.

The plans would be 80% to 90% funded with federal money, and local funds would cover the rest, Okazaki said.

If the City Council approves the proposal, it will be forwarded to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board. It would then go to the Federal Transit Administration in a quest for funding.

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