Burbank considers rail study

Mark R. Madler

The City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to pitch in

$30,000 for a joint study with Glendale and Pasadena that would look

at linking public transit between Pasadena and North Hollywood.


The study is the first step in what is expected to be a long

process that will eventually seek federal funding to fill a gap in

public transportation services.

No route has been selected nor the type of vehicles that would be


used, be it buses or a fixed-route light rail system, Burbank

Transportation Director Greg Herrmann said.

“All we have is an identified need for a high-capacity transit

corridor,” Herrmann said. “Most recently the [Metropolitan Transit

Authority] identified high desirability for service where it

currently is not being met.”

MTA metro trains run northwest to North Hollywood via the Red Line

and northeast to Pasadena via the Gold Line from downtown Los Angeles


but no service connects those lines through the Burbank, Glendale and

Pasadena area, Herrmann said.

Two meetings between Glendale and Burbank city staff members and

officials have been held, and a third meeting including Pasadena

officials took place in May.

“We are very united in this,” Burbank City Manager Mary Alvord

said. “Eventually if we are successful, this will be huge for Burbank

and Glendale.”


The $90,000 cost of the study by Planning Company Associates would

be divided between the three cities.

The Glendale City Council is expected to take up the matter at its

July 26 meeting.

Glendale has a long history of working in cooperation with Burbank

and Pasadena and sharing the cost of the study helps out in that it

would be expensive for any one city to do on its own, Glendale City

Manager Jim Starbird said.

“We need to make sure the tri-cities has a vision in place for

regional transit development,” Starbird said. “This is the first step

in that long-range vision.”

The Pasadena City Transportation Department agreed in May to chip

in $30,000 for the study.

Burbank City Councilman Todd Campbell backs the proposal because

it will not only ease congestion in the San Fernando and San Gabriel

valleys but provide an alternative for people commuting to work.

“If you can’t get from multiple points easily, you tend to take

your car,” Campbell said.

In the short term, he would support a rapid bus system until a

rail system could be funded and built, Campbell said.

Planning Company Associates worked with Burbank on the upcoming

Empire Avenue interchange with the Golden State (5) Freeway and a new

ramp to the Ventura (134) Freeway at Hollywood Way, Herrmann said.

The company also worked with Glendale to secure funding for

projects at Western Avenue and the Golden State Freeway, and the

Ventura Freeway and San Fernando Road.