Investments in New Programs, Enhanced Service Help Grow Ridership
LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced today a 12 percent increase in transit ridership compared to a year ago. There were 255 million boardings in 2022, surpassing the 227 million in 2021.
“During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Metro’s riders disappeared, and stayed away for most of the epidemic. As we saw Angelenos return to their pre-pandemic lives last year, Metro is working diligently to restore the level of service for those who depend on transit to get where they need to be to see riders come back on our county’s buses and rail lines as a result,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair, Ara J. Najarian.
Over the past year, Metro invested in several programs and projects to improve bus and rail services to better help hundreds of thousands of riders while emphasizing women, families, and communities where Metro’s services are needed the most. As a result of these investments, bus ridership increased by 10 percent, and rail ridership was up almost 20 percent. One program that contributed to these increases is the NextGen Bus plan, which results from a reimagined bus system that focuses on providing fast, frequent, reliable, and accessible services to meet the needs of today’s riders. Metro riders now experience an increase in the frequency of buses on key routes, making access to essential spots such as grocery stores, schools, parks, and medical centers more readily available. There are now 1.1 million jobs accessible through frequent bus services with 10-minute or better intervals, representing a 350 percent improvement over pre-pandemic services.
According to an October 2022 Customer Experience survey, 75 percent of Metro’s riders are from low-income households. Metro has expanded its Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) and GoPass pilot programs to make fares more affordable. The Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program offers fare discounts that can be applied toward the purchase of weekly and monthly transit passes on Metro and any LIFE program participating transit agencies or 20 free rides on any of the participating transit agencies. Metro’s GoPass pilot program offers access to free transit for more than one million K-12 and community college students in LA County. In 2022, Metro delivered more than 10 million rides to LIFE program holders and more than 11.7 million rides to GoPass holders.
“Metro is better serving the diverse communities that rely on public transportation to access education, employment, healthcare, and other essential services,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We’re just beginning to see the fruits of our efforts to restore ridership as riders feel more confident and comfortable using public transportation to get where they need to go.”
As a part of its vision to become the first transportation choice for Angelenos and visitors, Metro is making investments in improving customers’ experience aboard Metro – and that includes safety. Metro last year introduced a human-centered Reimagined Public Safety plan that considered the feedback and recommendations of Metro employees, customers and stakeholders. The plan uses a multi-layered approach to improve security, customer care and cleanliness. Metro security staff and law enforcement partners improve security, address code of conduct, and penal code violations. Metro’s new Metro Ambassador pilot program provides visible unarmed presence on the system to support customers throughout their journey, connect those who need it to resources and report any issues they might see on the system. More than 240 Metro Ambassadors are trained and deployed across some segments of the Metro system, and it is expected that 300 Ambassadors will be trained by the end of March. On the cleanliness front, Metro has invested in more frequent cleaning of vehicles and stations and, in the past six months, has replaced 68 percent of the buses and 89 percent of rail cars with vinyl seats that are more comfortable and easier to clean and maintain.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is building the most ambitious transportation infrastructure program in the United States and is working to greatly improve mobility through its Vision 2028 Plan. Metro is the lead transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and carries about 800,000 boardings daily on a fleet of 2,200 low-emission buses and seven rail lines.
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