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How a Faster Bus Could Help Change Los Angeles Veterans' Lives

For homeless veterans in Los Angeles, the 720 bus down Wilshire Boulevard isn’t just transportation, it’s a lifeline between the shelters of Skid Row and the sprawling VA medical center in West L.A.

Public Counsel joined bus riders and environmental groups to support a plan to create a bus-only lane down Wilshire that will speed travel times not just for hundreds of veterans, but for 80,000 other people who ride the 720 every day.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board and Los Angeles City Council have both approved the 7.7 mile bus plan lane which should be online -- and in lanes -- by 2013.

Before the project was approved, Public Counsel's Rick Little weighed in at OnCentral.org:

"People who take the bus down Wilshire during rush hour will save as much as 30 minutes of travel time each day. That means veterans heading to the Westwood VA, students en route to UCLA, restaurant workers traveling from Westlake to jobs in Santa Monica, and Westsiders heading to their jobs in downtown could each save as much as 130 hours in commute time each year."

He called it "a slam-dunk project that creates jobs, improves transit, reduces air pollution and greenhouse gases, and moves L.A. a step closer to realizing its vision of being a 21st century green metropolis."

Click here to read the whole column from OnCentral.