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NextGen Bus Study

So, what is the NextGen Bus Study?

Metro is designing a modern, more useful bus network. It’s time for a better bus system that fits your lifestyle, integrates with all the ways you travel throughout LA County, and gets you where you need and want to go, with flexibility for the future.

The objective of the bus study is to:

  • Understand transit market demand in LA County
  • Study the agency’s current bus system and how well it serves current and potential customers
  • Recommend how best to reimagine the system to be more relevant to what people need today

Why are we doing this?

Our current bus network carries over 70% of Metro’s customers but hasn’t had a significant update in 25 years. Since then, LA County has grown and evolved dramatically, and so has transportation. We’ve added over a million residents, many local communities have transformed, there are more places to go and travel patterns have changed. The study will design a bus system that improves service and connections throughout LA County.

Help us design a better bus system!

Rank Your Priorities
Help us prioritize the options. Provide your input! Learn more and help develop Metro’s Bus Story.

When is it happening?

The entire NextGen Bus Study is estimated to take about 18 months and consists of four distinct steps.  At each step, the public will be encouraged to actively participate and provide informative and valuable input. Step 1, which was focused on elevating public awareness and listening to stakeholder groups input, was completed in early August.

What is the current status?

Metro has completed the first phase of the study, which included listening to past, current and potential riders about their habits, needs, preferences and how they want to get around.  We are now going to use this information to redesign smarter bus lines.  We need you to help us by participating in the study.

Currently we are in Step 2 of 4, which will explore draft improvement concepts and gather information on customer priorities. The table below highlights major milestones in the process.

Project Phase Graphic

Rank Your Priorities
Help us prioritize the options. Provide your input! Learn more and help develop Metro’s Bus Story.

Public workshops for the project will be held throughout the county in early 2019. Please check this site regularly for updates on exact locations and dates

Rank Your Priorities
Help us prioritize the options. Provide your input! Learn more and help develop Metro’s Bus Story.

Metro provides free on-board WiFi on select buses. This lets you make the most of the trip by getting what you need done along the way. To use the on-board WiFi, connect to the network ‘Free Metro WiFi.’
Real-time vehicle updates on our Metro app let you know precisely when your bus will arrive.
Need help getting around on Metro? Check out these helpful tips to get started and Go Metro!
Metro has reduced fare programs that enable eligible applicants to obtain special TAP cards and purchase reduced-rate monthly passes.
The Destination Discounts program offers Metro riders who show their TAP card exclusive discounts at events and destinations throughout LA County.
You can Go Metro to Dodger Stadium by connecting with the Stadium Express at two convenient locations, and your Dodger ticket is good for the fare!

Rank Your Priorities
Help us prioritize the options. Provide your input! Learn more and help develop Metro’s Bus Story.

Overview

1) What is the NextGen Bus Study?

Metro has set out to design a new bus network that is more relevant, reflective of, and attractive to the residents of LA County. We believe this redesigned network will improve service to current riders, attract a new generation of users and win back past customers. The NextGen Bus Study consists of four steps. At each stage, the public will be encouraged to actively participate and provide informative and valuable input.

2) Why is Metro doing this now?

Simply put, the bus network in LA County carries over 70% of Metro customers but has not had a major overhaul in 25 years. Since that time, our county has evolved dramatically. Over a million residents have been added, transforming many local communities with new travel patterns. The Metro Rail system was just beginning 25 years ago, but now LA County has 105 miles of service and service will continue to grow steadily over the next 25 years. In addition, with new transportation options like ride hailing apps and bike share, it is important that our bus system integrates with all the ways Angelinos travel today, with flexibility built in for the future.

3) When is the NextGen Bus Study happening?

The NextGen Bus Study began in Spring 2018 and is estimated to take 18 months to be completed.

4) When will the NextGen Bus Service Plan be implemented?

Bus service changes will be implemented starting in Fall 2019.

5) Will the NextGen Bus Study result in minor adjustments to the current bus network or truly redesign the system with a “clean slate approach”?

The goal of the NextGen Bus Study is to create an attractive and competitive world-class bus system. To achieve this goal, all aspects of Metro bus service are on the table for study, including speed, distance, frequency, time of day, reliability as well as quality of service and safety. Some of the most heavily traveled lines, e.g. Vermont Ave., Western Ave., Ventura Blvd., may not see major changes, but may be modified to provide better connections to other routes and services. Public input along with the technical evaluation of travel data will inform the extent of the changes.

Coordination with other studies/service providers

6) How is the NextGen Bus Study integrating with Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Vision and Principles Study?

The BRT Vision and Principles Study will establish and build consensus on a clear vision, goals and objectives for the BRT system and develop guidance on the design of the BRT network. It will also facilitate the identification and prioritization of future BRT candidate corridors. The NextGen Bus Study will coordinate and share data with the BRT study team in order to improve bus speeds and maximize Metro’s investment in future BRT corridors. Data to be shared includes travel demand data, identification of congested corridors, and auto vs. transit travel time ratios for major travel corridors, which will assist the BRT study with the identification and prioritization of the first decade Measure M BRT project, which has an expected opening date of FY 2022-2024. In addition, the NextGen Bus Study will develop short term recommendations for “hot spot” speed and reliability improvements on major transit corridors based on guidelines, which will further help guide BRT investment.

7) How is the NextGen Bus Study integrating with future Metro Rail/BRT capital projects?

The NextGen Bus Study is focusing on a 10-year horizon (2030). Therefore, all rail lines under construction, including Crenshaw/LAX, Regional Connector, and Westside Purple Line Extension Phase 1, 2, 3, are assumed as part of the existing transit infrastructure. In addition, future projects currently in the planning stage and expected to be under construction within the next 10 years will be considered in route planning and scheduling decisions, including the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project, West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor, Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B to Claremont, Green Line Torrance Extension, Vermont Corridor BRT, North Hollywood to Pasadena Transit Corridor BRT, and North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor BRT.

8) How is the NextGen Bus Study integrating with the MicroTransit Pilot Project and Mobility on Demand Grant Program?

The Mobility on Demand Program and the MicroTransit Pilot Projects will be integrated into the network once they have been implemented. The NextGen Bus Study will account for these during the study process.

9) Will bus service provided by the LA County municipal transit operators also be included in the NextGen Bus Study?

Through the NextGen Bus Study, we are taking a holistic approach to the LA County bus system that does not look at Metro alone but instead leverages all resources, including municipal operators.

10) How is the Long Range Transportation Plan integrating the NextGen Bus Study in its update process?

The NextGen Bus Study and the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) are already integrating in terms of coordinated public outreach efforts and travel demand data sharing. The LRTP has many components, but the portion on future bus system operations will be structured around the findings and outcomes from the NextGen Bus Study, along with other Metro policies and programs. This includes a thorough examination of how the system can best function in future decades based on what NextGen tells us about Metro’s current system, combined with other forecasts about future regional growth, and how to ensure the bus infrastructure is funded and maintained in a constant state of good repair. This is a sequential coordination with each phase informing the next.

Funding/Resources

11) Will the NextGen Bus Service Plan be constrained to the 7 million service hours currently available?

The initial assumption of the NextGen Bus Study is to develop a service plan within the range of 7 million service hours, plus or minus 10 percent (6.3 million to 7.7 million hours). However, this does not preclude Metro from developing a service plan that exceeds this range should the benefits justify any tradeoffs to other Metro projects and programs.

12) How will fares be affected?

The NextGen Bus Study is a study of the bus system; fares are not being considered as part of this effort.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT & COMMUNITY ISSUES

13) Will there be further opportunities for public input on the NextGen Bus Study?

Yes. Public engagement is critical to the success of the NextGen Bus Study and Metro is actively soliciting input. Here are some of the current and upcoming opportunities:


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