Torrance : Bus Expansion Approved

The City Council has approved an expansion of municipal bus service, adding three buses on one heavily traveled route and proposing extension of another to El Segundo, which would add another three buses.

The increased service is on Route 3, which runs from the Redondo Beach Pier to the Long Beach Transit Mall, traversing Torrance along Torrance Boulevard. The additional buses will shorten waiting times to 20 minutes from 30 and eliminate frequent overcrowding, city officials said.

The proposed expansion, which needs approval by the county Transportation Commission, could be the beginning of an expanded role for Torrance as a primary bus operator for the South Bay area, according to city officials.

With the proposed El Segundo line, "we would be the first municipal operator in Los Angeles County permitted to expand beyond our original reserved service area," Transportation Director Arthur Horkay said in a report.

The plan would extend Route 8, which now runs along Hawthorne Boulevard from Pacific Coast Highway to Grant Street. The extension would take it west and north along segments of Grant Street, Aviation Boulevard, Alaska Avenue, Douglas Street, Imperial Highway and Sepulveda Boulevard and 98th Street near Los Angeles International Airport.

The new service could replace RTD Line 685, scheduled for cancellation July 1, and take up the slack left by the elimination last September of a commuter bus service operated by Hughes Aircraft Co.

The two projects will cost a total of $1.1 million, the expense of buying three new buses for each route. Financing for increased service on Route 3 would be paid out of Torrance's share of the countywide half-cent sales tax. For the El Segundo extension, the city intends to pay half with the sales tax funding and seek a transportation commission grant for the rest.

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