Metro Rapid Line 761 (Van Nuys Blvd. - Westwood)
The above map is taken from the documentation for the July 14, 2001 public hearing on the ranking of the candidate corridors for the next phases of Metro Rapid. There were a total of four comments received on "Study Line S-6" and all of those submitted comments wanted the line extended to Westwood; they also wanted Rapid service to LAX via either Sepulveda or Sawtelle Blvds. (Two respondents wanted both Line 233 and the new Rapid to operate to Westwood.)
Line 761 (which began operation June 29, 2003) did not directly replace the routing of Line 561; as shown in the routing map at left, it operates between Van Nuys Blvd. & Foothill Blvd. (the proposed route on Glenoaks Blvd. to Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station was not implemented) and Westwood (the express segment to LAX was cancelled; Culver CityBus Rapid 6 on Sepulveda Blvd. eventually replaced that connection on January 10, 2010).
The original Phase II map shows an alignment completely duplicating Line 561 (which is also how the line was proposed in the 1998 Regional Transit Alternatives Analysis). Not all of the previous Line 561 stops in Westwood are serviced by Line 761.
At the July, 2003 meeting of the Metro San Fernando Valley Governance Council, Metro Rapid project manager Rex Gephard indicated that the routing through Westwood could be modified in the future; the present routing is based on the previous Line 561 alignment. Possible realignments could be direct operation via Sepulveda Blvd. to Wilshire Blvd. or duplicating LADOT Line 573 routing to the west of the UCLA campus. The San Fernando Valley and Westside/Central Councils subsequently (in 2007) indicated a preference for a freeway express line operating directly between the Metro Orange Line station in Van Nuys and Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood. This is now being considered as part of the December, 2014 service change program, along with a "swapping" of the route segment south of Ventura Blvd. to an extension of Line 734.
Two of the previous Line 561 stops on Sunset Blvd. -- Hilgard Ave. and Bellagio Rd. -- were restored on a "temporary" basis after the first few days of operation. They remain on the stop list today.