The San Fernando Valley MTA Service Expansion Program
Four years after the MTA assumed responsibility for the previous Metropolitan Coach Lines' service, little had changed other than the addition of two express freeway lines (35 in 1958 and 93F in 1960). Yet the population of the Valley had increased five-fold in the decade since the former Pacific Electric and Asbury Rapid Transit Lines had been merged into the system which still existed. Officially, MTA was still constrained by the same financial factor which had made it necessary for the privately-owned systems to be brought into the public sector ... every line had to "pay its own way" through the farebox. With tax subsidies still two decades away, the only service that MTA could afford to run were the same handful of lines which had a consistent ridership:
But one ambitious MTA planner, Robert S. Korach, recognized that the Valley's explosive growth would create the potential for expanded service to also pay its way. He proposed a realignment of routes in the North Hollywood-Burbank area based on existing ridership patterns, emphasizing through service to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. He then proposed taking the savings from that more efficient route network to make four major extensions into the west Valley, serving both as intra-Valley lines and inter-area service. His calculations showed that the potential new ridership would come within $83 per week of covering the additional expenses of implementing the expanded service.
Korach's plan was submitted to the MTA Board of Directors October 9, 1962 and was approved for implementation on November 18 of that year:
The Korach plan made the following changes:
The plan was reasonably successful, although a few changes were made seven months later, such as restoring Line 14 on Victory Blvd. and cancelling the Line 90 extension to Granada Hills. But the vast majority of the Korach plan remained in place for the next 12 years.
- Line 14 was replaced on Victory Blvd. with Line 87 and on Laurel Canyon Blvd. with Line 90.
- Line 16 replaced Line 90 on Lankershim Blvd. and was extended via Roscoe Blvd. to Canoga Park.
- Line 19 on Burbank Blvd. was cancelled and the line number reused for a new Sepulveda Blvd. service.
- Line 21 was extended from Lockheed Air Terminal to downtown Burbank.
- Line 22 was replaced, for the most part, by a realignment of Line 86.
- Line 24 had its Glenoaks Blvd. leg extended to San Fernando.
- Line 35 was extended to Reseda and Canoga Park on one branch and to Woodland Hills on a second.
- Line 74 was replaced on Sepulveda Blvd. by the new Line 19 and was extended to North Hollywood as a replacement for Line 88.
- Line 81 was cutback west of Balboa Blvd. outside of rush hour, with Line 35 service replacing it.
- Line 86 was rerouted to operate through downtown Burbank (mostly replacing Line 22), with a new Line 87 branch replacing Line 14 on Victory Blvd.; it was also replaced by Line 93 between North Hollywood and Panorama City.
- Line 88 was replaced by Line 74.
- Line 90 replaced Line 14 on Laurel Canyon Blvd. as Line 16 replaced it on Lankershim Blvd. and Line 93 replaced it on Sherman Way.
- Line 93 was extended to Panorama City as a replacement for Line 86, and its schedule was expanded to add "limited stop" service in both directions during rush hour (it had previously operated that service only to downtown Los Angeles in the morning and back to Valley in the afternoon).
MTA itself, though, was not to remain on the scene much longer; a little over one year from the tweaking of the Korach plan, MTA was replaced by the Southern California Rapid Transit District, which found itself in the same predicament of bus service having to pay for itself from the farebox. Robert Korach remained with RTD until 1965, and returned to the District as the Assistant General Manager for Operations from 1984 to 1988.