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Harbor Transitway

Harbor Transitway
Metro Silver Line runs on the Harbor Transitway with frequent service.
System Combined Transitway Service
Operator Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA)
Began service June 1996; December 13, 2009 for Metro Silver Line opening.
Locale Los Angeles, California
Start 37th Street/USC
End Harbor Gateway Transit Center
Stations 6 Metro Silver Line Stations

The Harbor Transitway is an 11 miles (18 km) shared-use bus corridor (transitway) and high-occupany toll roadway that runs in the median of Interstate 110 (Harbor Freeway) in Southern California. The main bus service operating on the busway is the Metro Silver Line which was introduced on December 13, 2009. The Metro Silver Line bus rapid transit line runs on the Harbor Transitway from Harbor Gateway Transit Center to Downtown Los Angeles and continues to El Monte Bus Station. The line operates daily with frequent service. In addition to Metro Silver Line, other Metro bus and municipal bus routes also operate on the Harbor Transitway. They include Metro Express: 442, 450, 460 and 550,Torrance Transit: 4,Gardena Transit: 1X and Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721. Metro Express Lines: 442, 450 and 550 operate only during weekdays peak hours. Metro Line 442 operates peak a.m. northbound only and southbound p.m. only. Torrance Transit line 4, Gardena Transit line 1X, and Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721 operate only during weekday peak hours. Metro Express line 460 operates daily along with the Metro Silver Line. Busway bus lines originate from Downtown Los Angeles and El Monte, with final destinations in Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure Park located in Anaheim, Knott's Berry Farm, Artesia, Fullerton, Gardena, Hawthorne, Huntington Beach, San Pedro and Torrance.

In November 2012, the existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes within the Transitway were converted to high-occupancy toll lanes. This is part of the larger Metro ExpressLanes project which added major transportation improvements to the area. A few project-mandated improvements along the Transitway are still being completed.

There are six transit stations on the main section of the Harbor transitway (the section with high-occupancy lanes): 37th Street Station, Slauson Station, Manchester Station, Harbor Freeway/I-105 Station, Rosecrans Station and Harbor Gateway Transit Center (to one side). All of these 6 stations are branded as Metro Silver Line stations. There are a further two stations on the freeway to the south of the transitway: Carson Station and Pacific Coast Highway station. Both of these stations are served by Metro Express Line 450 on the freeway platforms. These stations are not considered part of the harbor transitway stations nor Metro Silver Line's stations.


  • History 1
    • Metro ExpressLanes project 1.1
  • Bus services 2
  • Harbor Transitway stations 3
  • Freeway stations 4
  • Usage 5
    • Service history 5.1
  • Incidents 6
  • Photo gallery 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


After 20 years of planning and then construction the combined high-occupancy roadway and transitway was opened in 1998 at a cost of $500 million. Provision was made for the transitway to continue further north from Adams Boulevard/ Flower Street to join the El Monte Busway[1] and construction of the busway included 'ski jumps' just past the on/off ramps at this point.[2]

During the early months of the busway ridership was roughly 3,000 boardings a day. Initial usage was only 5% of the predicted 65,000 and fares were reduced from $3.35 to $1.35 in 2000 to encourage additional usage.[3] Months later Metro officials made several changes to their bus services operating on the Harbor Transitway. During the 1990s Metro staff was studying the possibility of connecting the El Monte Busway with the Harbor Transitway by operating a bus rapid transit line. The project was supported by Metro, but plans were later scrapped because of the lack of funds to operate the bus rapid transit line. The project was later revealed early 2009 by staff. The new project would be called the Dual Hub BRT which was later called the Metro Silver Line. The line got its color from the former color on the El Monte Busway which was silver. The project looked at operating a bus rapid transit on both the El Monte Busway and Harbor Transitway serving Downtown Los Angeles as the halfway point of the line. Future project amenities looked similar to the ones on the Metro Orange Line. A council meeting was held to propose a fare for the Metro Silver Line. The line was originally proposed to operate with a local fare, but was later changed due to the interference of Foothill Transit's Silver Streak line which does not have a local fare. The Metro Silver Line was presented to several council meetings for support from passengers and was approved for implementation.

The Metro Silver Line was introduced on December 13, 2009 using both the Harbor Transitway and the El Monte Busway for a 26-mile service operating mostly on the freeways. Usage on the Harbor Transit way has significantly increased with the implementation of the Metro Silver Line. In particular, ridership has increased between 7th Street/Metro Center Station and the Harbor Freeway Station. Weeks after the Silver Line began service, Metro mailed thousands of brochures of the Metro Silver Line to people living near the I-110 freeway to become aware of the new bus rapid transit line.

Metro ExpressLanes project

The Metro ExpressLanes project began work in 2010 to add improvements to the public transport services and facilities. The security of the Harbor Gateway Transit Center (formerly the Artesia Transit Center) was improved in November 2010 and CCTV was installed. Bike lockers were installed and the existing building was re-purposed as a Sheriff substation.[4][5] Improvements were made to station Lighting Improvements and to the Slauson and Manchester stations.

The high-occupancy lanes between Harbor Gateway Transit Center and Adams Blvd were converted to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. Opened in November 2012, the HOT lanes require Fastrak transponders.

Other changes also include:

  • Bus priority is being expanded in Downtown Los Angeles, which will improve performance of the Metro Silver Line.
  • New security cameras and digital message boards are being installed at stations on the route.[6]
  • Park & Ride facilities are being improved at the Harbor Transitway station.
  • More bicycle lockers are to be provided the Harbor Gateway Transit Center.
  • A new Bus Maintenance Facility is being constructed in Downtown Los Angeles.
  • 59 new Compressed natural gas powered 45-foot buses are to be introduced on the Silver Line, together with 100 new Metro Vanpool vehicles.[6]

Bus services

The Harbor transitway is served by the Metro Silver Line, Metro Express and municipal operators. The Metro Silver Line is the bus service used the most based on ridership on the busway. The busway is primarily used by the Metro Silver Line although there are a number of other express lines, some of which are operated by other transit operators. Each line in the busway has a different fare structure. Metro Silver Line charges $2.50 for a base fare, one way, but Metro Day pass holders do not need to pay an additional charge. Metro and Foothill Transit's Silver 2 Silver program does not apply on the Harbor transitway portion even though the Silver Line operates on both the Harbor and El Monte Busways.

Metro Torrance Transit
Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express Lines: 442, 450, 460, & 550
Torrance Transit:4

Harbor Transitway stations

The transitway is a key component served by the Metro Silver Line and is also served by Metro Express buses, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Orange County Transportation Authority, Gardena Transit and Torrance Transit buses. Carson and Pacific Coast Highway bus stations are not considered part of the Harbor Busway. These stations were considered part of the busway before the Metro Silver Line was implemented.

37th Street Silver Line station, lower level northbound platform stairs.
Southbound busway entrance at 37th Street/USC Silver Line Station.
The north bus entrance at the Slauson Silver Line Station.
Slauson Silver Line Station, Soutbound Platform. Station is also served by Metro Express: 442, 460, and 550.
Slauson Silver Line Station with bollards installed during early September 2012.
Metro Express Line: 460 to Disneyland at Manchester Silver Line Station.
Metro Express Lines: 460 & 550 departing Manchester Silver Line Station. Bollards, CC Security cameras and digital message signs are improvements currently being made to the station.
Passengers boarding the Metro Silver Line to Downtown Los Angeles & El Monte Station at Harbor Gateway Transit Center.
Station Busway Level (Freeway Level) Street Level Connections Station Parking
37th Street/USC Station   Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express: 460
Torrance Transit: 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
LADOT Commuter Express: 438, 448
Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
Metro Local: 81, 102, 200
Metro Express: 442, (M-F Peak Periods Only), 550 (Weekdays Rush Hour AM & PM peak periods only)
USC Shuttle
Slauson/I-110 Station   Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express: 442 (M-F Peak Periods Only), 460, 550 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
Torrance Transit: 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
LADOT Commuter Express: 438, 448
Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
Metro Rapid: 745
Metro Local: 45, 81, 108, 358
LADOT DASH: Chesterfield Square
151 Spaces
Manchester/I-110 Station   Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express: 460, 550 (M-F Peak Periods only)
Torrance Transit: 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
LADOT Commuter Express: 438, 448
Orange County Transportation Authority: 701, 721
Metro Rapid: 745
Metro Local: 45, 81, 115
247 Spaces
Harbor Freeway/I-105 Station     Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express: 450 (Weekdays Rush Hour AM & PM peak periods only), 550 (Weekdays Rush Hour AM & PM peak periods only)
Torrance Transit: 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
LADOT Commuter Express: 448
Orange County Transportation Authority: 721
Metro Green Line  
Metro Rapid: 745
Metro Local: 45, 81, 120
Torrance Transit: 1, 2
Gardena Transit: 1X
253 Spaces
Rosecrans/I-110 Station   Metro Silver Line  
Metro Express: 550(Weekdays Rush Hour AM & PM peak periods only)
Torrance Transit: 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only)
Metro Local: 125 338 Spaces
Harbor Gateway Transit Center   Metro Silver Line
Metro Express: 450, 550
Metro Local: 52, 130, 205, 246, 344, 352
Torrance Transit: 1, 4 (M-F Peak Periods Only), 6
Carson Circuit: North / South Shuttle
Gardena Transit: 1X, 2, 4
980 Spaces

Freeway stations

Station Busway Level (Freeway Level) Street Level Connections Station Parking
Carson Station Metro Express: 450 Metro Local: 205
Metro Express: 550
Torrance Transit: 1, 3
Carson Circuit: F, S
Pacific Coast Highway Station Metro Express: 450 Metro Local: 205, 232
Metro Express: 550
LADOT Commuter Express: 448
Torrance Transit: 7


Usage of the lanes and bus services has been low, but the Silver Line has helped raise ridership on the Harbor Transitway. The Metro Silver Line began service on December 13, 2010. Ridership is lower than the El Monte Busway, which is also served by the Metro Silver Line. A number of reasons have been identified: The main causes for the low ridership are the premium express fare charged to passengers compared to riders on the Blue Line and Metro Rapid (up to $1 more each way than a trip made on the Rapid or Blue Line), the isolated and noisy freeway environment of the stations, and the inconvenience of accessing the stations (and lack of surrounding buses) around the stations compared to surface level light rail or Rapid service. Ridership began increasing with the advent of the Metro Silver Line. In late June 2011, Metro Silver Line service frequency increased from 30 mins to 15 mins on Weekdays and on Saturdays, service increased from 60 mins to 40 mins. In the February 2012 Metro Express Lanes Program report, ridership on the Silver Line alone on the Harbor Transitway was 3,969.[7] The report revealed that ridership on the Metro Silver Line alone increased 43% from the June 2011 improved frequency of the Metro Silver Line. On June 17, 2012 Metro added the second phase of adding more service to the Silver Line. Weekday peak hour service was added for the Metro Silver Line (an improvement from 10 mins to 4-8 mins). Saturday, Sunday/Holiday service was added for the Silver Line (an improvement from 40 mins to 20 mins on Saturdays and from 60 mins to 30 mins on Sundays/Holidays).

Its main competitors are the Metro Blue Line to Long Beach and the Metro Rapid Line 745, just a block away on Broadway. Ridership on the Transitway is not officially tabulated because service on the Transitway consists of several Metro Express lines, two routes operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority, and services operated by the cities of Gardena, Los Angeles, and Torrance.

Usage of the express lanes by private vehicles has become high enough that speeds have decreased, leading to carpool-only restrictions during peak hours. To compensate, Metro os considering increasing the maximum toll from its current $1.40 per mile cap.[8]

Service history

Metro formerly included the Transitway in a bronze color in rail system maps, however, the line was not officially called the Metro Bronze Line.[9] Since the advent of the Metro Silver Line, the Harbor Transitway and El Monte Busway have both been designated by one continuous line in a silver color on Metro Rail system maps. All services Metro operates on the Harbor Transitway are sometimes referred to as Line 903, this allows the transitway running portions to be placed on one timetable since most buses serve all stations. This line designation is rarely used by residents, and also does not appear on signs. It was formerly known as Line 940 until Metro Rapid EXPRESS 940 came to existence.

With the introduction of the Silver Line in 2009 Metro Express Lines 444, 446–447, 484 and 490 were rerouted to provide connecting service to the Silver Line and were given new route numbers. The changes are as follows:

  • Line 444 became Line 344, providing local service between the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and Palos Verdes Peninsula.
  • Line 446/447 became Lines 246/247 (Line 247 was replaced by restructured Lines 205 and 450 in June 2011), providing local service between the Harbor Gateway Transit Center and San Pedro.
  • Line 484 became Line 194, providing local serviced between Cal Poly Pomona and El Monte Station.
  • Line 490 became Line 190, providing service between Cal Poly Pomona and El Monte Station. Connections to all Metro Rail Lines and major destinations in Downtown LA.
  • Metro Silver Line provides connections to all Metro Rail lines, including the Gold and Red/Purple Lines at Union Station, Red/Purple, Blue, and Expo Lines at 7th/Metro and the Green Line at Harbor Freeway Station.


On February 22, 2012 an incident occurred on the northbound Metro Silver Line platform during the afternoon. A vehicle struck the northbound platform of the Harbor Freeway (LACMTA Station) station served by the Silver Line. The Metro Silver Line bus was not hit by the private truck when it was entering the station.There were 6 passengers who were about aboard the Silver Line bus to Downtown LA as a vehicle struck the platform.[10] The 6 passengers received minor injuries. It took around 2 hours to clear up the scene. During the incident, the Metro Silver Line, Metro Express Lines: 450X and 550 were detoured to stop at Figueroa Street/Harbor FWY station entrance. There has never been an incident on the Harbor Transitway ever since it first opened on June 1998. As a result of the incident, Metro's CEO: Art Leahy asked Metro's safety committee to review the station layout and signage of the Silver Line stations on the Harbor Transitway portion. A report was scheduled within 60 days.[10] The report was complete during April 2012 .[11] Bollards were added during early August 2012 at the station. Bollards were also installed at the 37th Street/USC Metro Silver Line Station as well.

Photo gallery


  1. ^ "Dual Hub High Occupancy Vehicle Transitway" (PDF). MetroMTA. 
  2. ^ "'"Google maps satellite view of 'ski jumps. Google. 
  3. ^ "Harbor Transitway Has Everything but Riders". Los Angeles Times. 2000-11-20. The $500-million Harbor Transitway from Wilmington to downtown Los Angeles was supposed to generate 65,000 bus rides a day along the Harbor Freeway. But usage did remain low as 3,000 boardings a day—that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has slashed the fare by more than half—from $3.35 to $1.35—in hopes of increasing ridership. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "Metro ExpressLanes". Metro MTA. 
  7. ^ "Metro ExpressLanes February 2012 Report" (PDF). 2012-03-19. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Laura J. (March 24, 2015). "MTA's toll-lane project may be a victim of its own success". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  9. ^ [2] (PDF)
  10. ^ a b "The Source: Accident on The Harbor Transitway". 2012-02-22. 
  11. ^ "Harbor Freeway Metro Silver Line Station platform improvements" (PDF). 2012-04-20. .

Further reading

  • Freeway Bus Station Area Development: Critical Evaluation and Design Guidelines. A Case Study of (I-110) Harbor Transitway Stations
  • Highway Oriented Transit System: A Comprehensive Land Use/Transportation Strategy to Improve Transit Service Delivery. A Case Study of (I-110) Harbor Transitway Stations
  • Dual Hub High Occupancy Vehicle Transitway A 1993 report by MTA prior to the construction of the transitway
  • Harbor Transitway Map and Connections
  • Harbor Transitway schedule

External links

  • Metro ExpressLanes - includes FasTrak and other toll information for the HOT lanes
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