1. What is the NextGen Bus Plan?
In 2018 Metro began the process of reimagining and restructuring our bus system to better meet the needs of past, current and future riders through the NextGen Bus Study (Study). Now in the second phase of the project, the goal of the NextGen Bus Plan (Plan) is to implement 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 customers, attract new customers and win back past customers.
The Plan is also an essential component of Metro’s Vision 2028 to build a comprehensive World Class Transportation System. The Plan is expected to improve rider experience and provide competitive service where people choose Metro as a transportation option.
2. How will the NextGen Bus Plan make bus service a competitive option for Angelinos?
We can better connect Angelinos to where they want to go by:
- Creating a bus system that both reconnects with our existing customers and elevates transit in LA County
- Implementing a range of service improvements on all major, and most minor, corridors throughout the county
- Refocusing service in areas with the greatest travel demand and simplifying routes and schedules
- Coordinating with LA County’s 16 other bus agencies to ensure service is as seamless as possible for passengers
- Investing in smart street improvements such as signal synchronization, transit priority enhancements, stop realignments and bus-only lanes, where feasible
- Improving stop amenities and enhancing security features, such as real-time information and lighting
The Plan will make it easier for more people to choose Metro bus service by:
- Doubling the number of frequent Metro bus service lines
- Providing 81% of current bus riders with 10 minute or better frequency
- Bettering service during midday, evenings and weekends
- Maintaining a walk of 10 minutes or less to a bus stop for 99% of current riders
- Utilizing stop consolidation and streamlined service to create short walks, shorter waits and faster travel
- Creating a more comfortable and safer waiting environment
3. Why is Metro doing this now?
Simply put, the bus network is the backbone of the Metro system carrying over 70% of all Metro customers, but it 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.
4 . What is the timeline for the NextGen Bus Plan?
The Study began in 2018 and focused on studying customer and countywide travel patterns, evaluating current bus service and collecting countywide feedback to help inform the service concepts that have guided the development of the Plan. With the Draft NextGen Bus Plan now developed, here’s what comes next:
- January 2020: Metro Board will consider allocating resources and releasing the draft plan
- February-March 2020: Public Workshops will be held across the county
- June 2020: Public hearings will take place in conjunction with the Metro Service Council meetings before any changes or restructuring of the system are considered by the Board of Directors
- September 2020: Final Bus Service Plan will be presented to the Metro Board for their consideration and approval
- December 2020: Phase 1 implementation will begin
- Future phased implementation aligns with scheduled service changes
5. Will the NextGen Bus Plan result in minor adjustments to the current bus network or truly redesign the system with a “clean slate approach”?
The goal of the Plan is to create an attractive and competitive world-class bus system. To achieve this goal, Metro is planning to refocus service in areas with the greatest travel demand and simplify routes and schedules to create operational efficiencies, as well as invest 10% more in capital improvements to help maximize bus speed, reliability and customer experience, thus increasing potential ridership growth. Improvements to the bus network are based upon the principle of reinventing and improving existing network resources, rather than starting from a “clean slate.”
Planning and Public Feedback
6. How will the NextGen Bus Plan be integrated with Metro’s other studies and projects?
Metro accounted for long and short-term transit projects and studies that involved or impacted the NextGen Bus Study and its resulting Plan. Among the projects considered were the Metro Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Vision and Principles Study, Metro Rail/BRT Capital Projects, Metro Long Range Transportation Plan, and the Metro MicroTransit Pilot Project and Mobility on Demand Grant Program.
7. Will bus service provided by the LA County municipal transit operators also be included in the NextGen Bus Plan?
Metro values the role local municipal bus operators play within the LA County transit landscape. As part of the effort to reconnect with our customers and maximize current resources, the Plan has coordinated with municipal operators throughout LA County to create seamless transit access for all customers. This collaborative process will improve the interaction between the revamped Metro Bus Network and the networks of municipal operators.
8. At this point in the NextGen Bus Plan what type of feedback has been received?
In an effort to gain public input Metro has participated in public outreach activities including the distribution of surveys and attendance at nearly 300 meetings and events. Metro has received input from the public and stakeholders, including responses from over 12,000 survey participants and collected over 14,500 comments. To date, this feedback has resulted in the following recurring themes to be addressed by the Plan: equity, customer experience, connectivity, engagement, accessibility and schedules. Additional input received focuses on operator issues, education, safety, technology and fares. While these issues will not be specifically addressed by the Plan, comments related to these topics will be shared with the appropriate internal departments for consideration.
9. Will the NextGen Bus Plan consider the unique needs and desires of my community?
One of the goals of the Plan is to receive input from stakeholders throughout LA County. Public participation will help ensure that the Plan considers each community’s needs and character.
10. Will the NextGen Bus Plan be constrained to the current level of service hours?
Metro is planning to refocus service in areas with the greatest travel demand and simplify routes and schedules to create operational efficiencies, as well as investing 10% more in capital improvements to help maximize bus speed, reliability and customer experience, thus increasing potential ridership growth.
11. How will fares be affected?
Fares are not being considered as part of this effort.
12. Will there be further opportunities for public input on the NextGen Bus Plan?
Yes. Metro will actively solicit input throughout the course of the project. Here are some of the current opportunities:
- Check the project website and Story Map tool regularly or sign-up for our mailing list at metro.net/nextgen for updates
- Attend a public workshop in your service council area and learn more about the new Plan. Visit www.metro.net/projects/nextgen/events/ for more information.