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 Fall 2019.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Check the project website regularly or sign-up for our mailing list.