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NextGen Bus Study

We've listened. We've heard you. We’re taking action.

The NextGen Regional Service Concept was reviewed and approved by the Metro Board of Directors in Summer 2019. The Regional Service Concept was developed through consideration of both technical data and all the priorities and personal experiences we heard from nearly 20,000 LA County residents through questionnaires and 260+ meetings, events, presentations and workshops. Together with your comments, the Regional Service Concept is guiding the NextGen bus service planners as they examine every Metro bus line and bus stop to determine the best system redesign possible.

To learn more about each step of the NextGen journey, check out Metro’s Bus Story .

What is the Regional Service Concept?

The Regional Service Concept defines the goals and objectives of the new bus network, and includes:

  • Measurements of success
  • Route and network design concepts based on public input and data analysis
  • A framework for balancing tradeoffs
  • Metro’s Equity Platform considerations

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
  • Maximize use of existing service hours and assess need for additional adjustments

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.

Metro's Bus Story: Discover the NextGen journey

What is the current status?

Metro staff processed all the robust data and input received to date to help prepare the Regional Service Concept , which the Metro Board of Directors approved on July 25, 2019. We are currently in Step 3 and the Regional Service Concept is guiding the development of the Draft NextGen Bus Service Plan, expected to be released in early 2020.

When is it happening?

The NextGen Bus Study began in early 2018 with the Draft NextGen Service Plan scheduled for rollout in early 2020. The NextGen Bus Study consists of four steps. At each step, the public has been, and will continue to be, encouraged to actively participate.

Step 1, which focused on elevating public awareness and listening to stakeholder groups input, was completed in Summer 2018. This included listening to past, current and potential riders about their habits, needs, preferences and how they want to get around.

During Step 2, we asked the community to consider tradeoffs when telling us about their transit priorities. We then dove deeper into analyzing technical data that helped the team understand how Angelinos travel throughout LA County. All this information helped to inform the service design considerations within the Regional Service Concept.

Be sure to keep an eye on our Events page to join us and learn more.

The table below highlights major milestones in the process.

Project Phase Graphic

Metro's Bus Story: Discover the NextGen journey

There are no events scheduled at this time.

Metro will continue to engage stakeholders throughout the study process and provide opportunities for input.

Please check this site regularly for updates or join our NextGen email list .

Metro's Bus Story: Discover the NextGen journey


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 early 2018 with the Regional Service Concept going to the Metro Board in July 2019 and the Draft NextGen Service Plan scheduled for rollout in early 2020.

4) 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

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

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

Yes, we are taking a holistic approach to evaluating and redesigning the LA County bus system. This has included meeting with and engaging all transit operators throughout LA County to ensure we are leveraging resources to design a more comprehensive and complementary bus system.

9) 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.


10) 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.

11) 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

12) How is Metro addressing equity in the NextGen Bus Study?

The framework for equity begins with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protects minority and low-income communities from disparate and disproportionate negative impacts as a result of major transit service changes. Metro’s Equity Platform builds upon Title VI in two distinct ways. First, it goes beyond ethnicity and income to determine communities with the greatest mobility needs. Through market research, surveys, and public input, other groups most reliant on transit include non-English speaking new immigrants, youth and seniors, persons without access to an automobile either by choice or necessity, persons with disabilities, and women who tend to make more transit trips than men. In addition, the NextGen Working Group concluded that transit is important to everyone, but in different ways specific to each community. Second, the NextGen Bus Study aims to go above and beyond Title VI, to not only protect against negative impacts, but to further improve service for communities with the greatest mobility needs. To do this, the Four Pillars of the Equity Platform have been integrated into the NextGen Bus Study planning and public engagement process (see 7/25/19 Board Report for more information).

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:

  • Email your thoughts or request a presentation for your organization or event by contacting Robert Cálix at .
  • Check the project website regularly or sign-up for our mailing list.

There has been a significant amount of data analysis that has been completed as part of the NextGen Bus Study, which has both enhanced and validated the community feedback received to date. This data analysis has included:

  • Market research (surveys and focus groups) to understand the different types of customers and what they need and want in transit service;
  • Travel demand analysis using Transit Access Pass (TAP) and Automatic Passenger Counters for transit demand and cell phone location data for all travel demand to understand when, where and how far people travel as well as transit’s competitiveness and market share;
  • Transit propensity analysis to identify areas where the willingness to use transit is the greatest based on three main characteristics: 1) significantly large transit market segments including areas of equity focus, 2) intensity of travel demand, and 3) transit supportive built environment; and
  • Existing service evaluation by line, segment and corridor to understand what parts of the system are working well, and what parts need adjustment.

Each type of data analysis provides a portion of the overall understanding of when and where transit can be successful and how to provide the maximum benefit to those who need or want to use transit to access opportunities. By clicking on the items and links below, you will be able to explore the data being used. Please note that directions on how to utilize each application will be provided just below the link and/or in a sidebar once the link is opened.

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays the level of activity at each of Metro’s bus stops, with the red dots representing high activity. Detailed information on the number of boardings, on and off, can be found by simply clicking each dot/stop.

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays how full, on average, the buses are on segments of each route. The darker the color represents segments of a route where buses are fuller.

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays how often buses are arriving at stops for segments of each route, with the red lines showing they most frequent segments.

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays volumes of daily trip origins per census tract, including both transit trips (recorded by TAP data) and overall trips (car, transit, etc.).

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays the pattern of where current transit riders are starting and ending their trips (based on TAP card data).

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays how far riders typically travel along the corridor based on their starting point, with darker red dots indicating longer trip lengths. Click on a starting point to display the average length.

Corridor Segment Performance
Displays which segments have the most ridership and are the most productive.

Corridor Segment Performance
This tool allows you to explore monthly ridership stats, line level trends, and historical information.

Corridor Segment Performance
Areas where the propensity to use transit is the greatest embody three main characteristics. First, there is a significantly large population of transit market segments, including people who rely on transit for most of their travel, commuters and students who use transit for work and school trips, and discretionary riders who choose transit for some or all their trips. Second, is the intensity of travel demand to and from areas based on population and employment densities, retail and entertainment, colleges and universities, and other trip generators. For NextGen, cell phone location data is also being used to identify areas of greatest travel intensity. Finally, a pedestrian oriented street environment is also critical, including safe and well lighted pathways, sidewalks and curb-cuts, grid street network, and level topography. This map allows you to explore how likely people are to use transit in specific areas based on these characteristics. To do so, open the “Layers List” and select which layers you would like to view on the left-hand side of the screen.

Metro's Bus Story: Discover the NextGen journey