LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Car-mageddon weekend promises to be a blessing in disguise for bus riders, who will get to ride free on a total of 26 bus lines along major Westside and San Fernando routes.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the free fares will be on buses along Venice, Wilshire, Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards from downtown to the Westside. A Rapid bus connecting the San Fernando Valley and Westwood along Sepulveda Boulevard and east-west routes throughout the Valley will also be free.

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports.

Metro is the lead agency on the project to remove part of the historic Mulholland Bridge during the weekend of July 16-17. The northbound 405 Freeway will be closed for a 10-mile stretch between the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The southbound freeway will be closed for four miles between the 101 and Getty Center Drive.

The bridge demolition is part of a $1 billion effort to widen the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass and upgrade the freeway to better withstand earthquakes.

The stretch of highway is one of the busiest in the nation, with an estimated 50,000 vehicles on a typical summer weekend, thus earning the dreaded closure the moniker “Car-mageddon.”

The authority announced in June it will be adding 61 buses to eight major bus lines, including the 2, which links downtown to the Pacific Palisades along Sunset Boulevard, and rapid buses that travel to Santa Monica along Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. It will also add 16 buses to enhance late night service on some of those routes.

The authority is offering free service on the Red and Purple Line subways and the Orange Line through the San Fernando Valley from Woodland Hills to North Hollywood.

A complete list of the free and expanded transit routes during the construction is at http://www.metro.net/I-405.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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