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With Red Line Extension Set, DASH Effort Moves Forward

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, October 24, 2008, at 04:15PM
Blurred Bus Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A pair of late night DASH routes could be up and running within a month, carrying visitors and residents between Downtown's nightlife and destinations. LADOT today filed a report with City Council detailing the proposed program, which would be funded with private dollars.

Funding was recently secured to extend late night hours on the Metro Red Line until 3am during the holidays (November 21 - December 31). The DASH program would be timed to run alongside that program, but is intended to continue providing service on Friday and Saturday nights throughout 2009.

In early September, LADOT presented the Council's Transportation committee with a single route connecting L.A. Live and the Music Center with the Red Line, as well as various hotels and restaurants. In committee, representatives from both Councilwoman Jan Perry's office and Councilman Jose Huizar's office voiced support for the concept, but asked whether something could be done to better support residents and business in the Historic Core.

From that meeting, a working group was put together that included representatives from LADOT, the council offices, AEG, L.A. Inc., Central City Association and the Downtown community. The decision was made to add a second route to the program, providing service to the Historic Core.

The added route travels east on 7th street, north on Main to 1st street, south on Broadway to 9th and then loops back up to 8th street before heading west to join up with the original line at the 7th/Metro Red Line station.

To support the Holiday Red Line hours, the program would include DASH service until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights through the end of the year. The proposed service for 2009 would run from 6:30pm to midnight.

The extended service for the end of 2008 would cost approximately $34,000, while service until midnight in 2009 would cost $180,000. This money would need to come from the private sector, which just raised the $54,000 needed to extend the Red Line hours. LADOT would provide the buses for the service and manage its operation.

LADOT's report asks the Council to authorize the department to utilize the DASH buses for the service if funding is secured. It should go to the next meeting of the Transportation committee, and to Council after that.

As a note of disclosure: I am involved in the working group on this and helped to draw up the Historic Core route.

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