Bus service changes for June approved by Metro Board

The Metro Board of Directors voted 7 to 6 on Thursday morning to approve changes to Metro bus service, including the cutting and shortening of some lines. The changes are scheduled to go into effect June 26.

The changes amount to about 300,000 hours of service annually — about 100,000 hours less than originally proposed by Metro staff earlier this year. Metro CEO Art Leahy told the Board of Directors that the cuts will help remove low ridership lines and duplicative service from the Metro bus system and that the money saved — about $32 million annually — will help produce a balanced budget for Metro.

Nine million of those dollars will go back into the bus system. Leahy said that the money will also allow him to reallocate 212 Metro employees to improve the cleanliness and maintenance of buses and to work on a real-time system to improve on-time performance.

The yes votes were by the following Board members: Pam O’Connor, Zev Yarolsavsky, Ara Najarian, Mike Antonovich, Don Knabe, Diane DuBois and John Fasana.

The no votes were by the following Board members: Antonio Villaraigosa, Richard Katz, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mel Wilson, Jose Huizar and Gloria Molina.

“I’m not convinced that all this does is consolidate and make [the bus system] more efficient,” said Villaraigosa. “I can’t find myself being convinced of that argument.”

Lines impacted include the 26, 71, 94, 96, 155, 217, 230, 247, 254, 445, 450x, 485, 577, 634, 751, 757, 760 and 794. Some lines will be shortened, some expanded and some will not run on some times or days. Please see the full list of changes beginning on page 15 of this Metro staff report. In addition, the Board approved a number of bus service changes that will go into effect 90 days after the Expo Line light rail opens; those changes are on page 17 of the staff report.

The lines that will be entirely discontinued are the 26, 247, 445 and the 634. Existing bus service will replace those lines and/or Metro will modify existing service to replace those lines.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that the 757 Rapid Bus on Western Avenue will be discontinued. It will continue service on weekdays and articulated bus service on Western will be bulked up.

In discussion, Supervisor Gloria Molina asked Leahy if the service changes were motivated by cost savings alone — i.e. was he looking to carve a particular dollar amount from the Metro budget. Leahy answered no, that the changes were motivated by removing low-ridership lines and duplicative service so that resources could be used to improve the rest of the system.

The Board also approved a motion asking for a report on service changes by Metro and other local transit agencies since 1997. In addition, the motion asked Metro staff to develop a policy on how savings from service reductions are reinvested and criteria for ensuring continued service in the future to “regionally significant destinations.” The motion was by Mayor Villaraigosa, Supervisor Molina and Mel Wilson, a city of Los Angeles appointee to the Board.

Metro staff will provide that information to the Board next month, giving them the chance to possibly reconsider the service changes if they find the information to be troubling or problematic.

Several dozen members of the public testified to the Board of Directors, including many members of the Bus Riders Union. Many protested that the changes will inconvenience them and make it more difficult to reach their jobs.

Over the past three months, Metro held six public hearings about the service cuts with more than 300 people testifying. The proposed changes were also approved by the five community-based Service Councils that advise Metro staff on bus service in different parts of L.A. County.

29 replies

  1. MTA’s whole plan is to REDUCE BUS SERVICE to dump more money into the light-rail lines! This is a complete bias against MTA customers OUTSIDE of the city of Los Angeles! Additionally, NOT ONE “SERVICE CHANGE” proposal involves ADDING ANY BUSES TO OVER-PERFORMING LINES (like the Line 76, or the 266!). God forbid MORE BUSES are put where they MIGHT ACTUALLY BE RIDDEN ON!

  2. Has Metro thought about handing over the 190 and 194 East San Gabriel Valley routes to Foothill?
    These are right in the middle of Foothills Service area.
    Also running more busses like the 121 every 2 hours on weekends and holidays?

  3. Turning Lines 190 and 194 over to Foothill would be equivalent to having NO SERVICE ON THOSE LINES AT ALL! Compared to Foothill, MTA is a dream! Please don’t destroy what is barely being served by the MTA as it is! Remember, the MTA is called the Los Angeles COUNTY MTA, and it SHOULD SERVE ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTY EQUALLY (which it CLEARLY DOES NOT!). Giving any further lines to Foothill, just INCREASES the disparity!

  4. What changes were actually approved? I went to page 15 of that document but some stuff is lined out – for instance changes to bus line 460. Were these lined out items excluded for the approved changes?

  5. The report says 757 will be axed –

    Service available via Line 207 and proposed new Line 307. Hopefully Line 307 will still be a bendy bus.

    Why can’t they figure this out?

    Why can’t we have reports like these also to see how good/bad a line is doing? http://www.goo.gl/bF6jG

  6. @John, in all likelihood Line 307 will use the same buses as Line 207.

    Internally at Metro, a limited-stop line is a branch line of a local trunk. This means orange buses can be used on the line.

    A northbound 207 can turn around southbound as a 307. Right now, a 757 bus has to stay a 757.

  7. For me, it would completely be a tragedy if Metro decides to give over Lines 190 & 194. I commute 31.5 miles from South LA. to Mt. Sac for the aeronautics program. I heavily rely on lines 190 & 194 to get to school. Foothill should consider discontinuing the Silver Streak service west of El Monte Station because the majority of the riders ride the Metro Silver Line instead. If Foothill never implemented their Silver Streak service, Metro was originally going to discontinue the express fare on the proposed line. They were planning the fare for the Silver Line to be the regular base fare, just like the Orange Line. This would have attracted new riders. The Silver Line is supposed to have the same Metro Liner concept as the successful Metro Orange Line. Though both lines on the system map appear labeled as Metro Liner routes, the Metro Silver Line has no BRT characteristics. No TVMs, no line signs, stations don’t even look as close to the Orange Line stations. Bottom line, Foothill should discontinue the SS, so that Metro may offer the regular base fare for the Metro Silver Line. Many PEOPLE DON’T EVEN RIDE THE SILVER STREAK FROM EL MONTE TO DOWNTOWN LA. Instead they prefer the Metro Silver Line!!!!!!!!

  8. John McCready/Victor
    Thank you for your support.

    It is like give you couple cookies, take away your lunch/dinner

    Foothill did introduces couple extra line of service in foothill area. However, 484 (194 predecessor) no longer goes to Ontario/Pomona. It used to be people live closer to Valley can get to Pomona easily. Then MTA has to take that away.

    I depend on 194 all my life. Without 194, people in SG valley will definitely need cars to use the Expo/Gold Line Extension

    I always wander why Foothill wants to spend so much money on Gold Line extension while the bus system is so terrible. Gold Line extension will useful for people who have cars. I kind doubt the no choice riders can get to Gold line extension easily.

    Well MTA invented the carail system. What can I say

    490 (190 predecessor) used to go to Diamond Bar/Brea/Fullerton. Now it just stops at Cal Poly. 490 was terrible. Is 190 getting better. No. Now getting to Diamond Bar is even more difficult. Going to Brea/Fullerton from SGV is mission of impossible.

    MTA kept thinking the municipal/regional bus are duplicate. They are not. They are supplement. Some of the buses are lousy but at least it gave bus riders more choice to ride

  9. John McCready

    Don’t blame MTA. MTA is helping the economy. On one hand, gov’t has to tell people to drive less, on the other hand gov’t has to make sure that big 3 don’t die. How to achieve that? Design carail system. People drive to train stations than get out train stations drive zip cars. Environmentalists and car industry will be happy. Oh what about no choice riders. It is their fault they don’t drive. That is MTA mentality

  10. It’s totally ridiculous for Metro to cut
    back on the bus lines that are needed.
    First, it was #214–the Broadway/Main
    bus that got cut out. Then there were
    others such as #753–the Central bus
    and # 715-the one that goes on Manchest-
    er. Now # 209, that runs on Van Ness, will
    soon be gone also. Rather than taking out
    most of these buses, you people should
    add a few more buses, but don’t expect us
    riders to pay more for them. If you wish
    to make public transportation more effic
    -ient and effective, fine. However, this
    is going about it the wrong way.

  11. Why do they have to get rid of the 305? That bus is incredibly convenient for people who need to travel across town! Eliminating that bus would add an additional a two to three transfers! You would think that with gas prices going through the roof that MTA would be actually enhancing bus service?! Doesn’t make any kind of sense? MTA is doing to more to keep people in their cars than to get them out of them.

  12. @khw: Thank you for your response. I remember when the 490 used to go all the way to CSUF. I think Foothill transit’s system is a bit duplicated. For example line 282 is mostly a duplicate of Metro Local 194. Nearly half of FF282 runs on Valley Blvd. FF481 is a complete duplicate of the FFSS & the Metro Silver Line. FF494 duplicates 45% of its route with Metro Local 270, & FF187. FF851, FF853, FF854 & FF855 are all duplicates of other FF routes. FFSS duplicates the Metro Silver Line from El Monte Station all the way to Downtown LA with their 60 foot buses. Yet many of those long unnecessary buses carry a few passengers. I have even seen 2 to 3 60ft Silver Streak buses with only 1 half full. The rest are simply taking up too much unnecessary space. The Cal State LA Silver Line station cannot accommodate a 3rd 40ft bus if 2 FFSS buses are using the station. Many people on the El Monte Busway ride the Silver Line as opposed to the FFSS. The Silver Line is generally faster & more punctuational that the FFSS.

    Below is the link about the fare proposal for the Metro Silver Line when it was being planned for implementation.

    http://www.metro.net/board/Items/2009/10_October/20091015OPItem38.pdf

    There are several things I completely disliked about the Metro Silver Line.

    1) No TVM’s: Because there are no ticket vending machines, El Monte Station experiences a very LONG LONG line for the silver line especially at 6:00 A.M. westbound on Weekdays. Many PEOPLE ARE COMPLETELY PERPEXLED ABOUT THE LINE’S FARE!!!!!!! It is assumed that because the line sounds like the trains/liner (Metro Red/Orange/Purple/Blue/Green & Gold) there is no additional charge for the service. At every stop there is are no signs about the Metro Silver Line fares. I have seen many cases where some passengers new to the service complain that the Silver Line charges extra despite that the name sounds like Orange Line (which doesn’t charge a premium fare). I communicated with a representative about the approx. time when the Silver Line stations will have TVM’s installed. She told me that the implementation date has been postponed due to lack of funds.

    2) Local buses on line 910: According to Metro’s Liner concept all liner routes are supposed to be operated with silver sleek color buses with the Metro Liner headlines on the bus. The Orange Line uses these buses, but the Silver Line uses the local (orange buses). This makes it confusing for new riders. Since the Silver Line is a liner route, the buses are supposed to be painted in the silver sleek color with the Metro Liner lines. Passengers cannot differentiate the line from a local line, or an express line. Since the silver line uses the local brand buses, people cannot notice which buses are supposed to be the silver line buses. On the valley’s Orange Line, many passengers know that the silver sleek buses are automatically the Orange Line. Metro needs to remove THOSE SILVER SLEEK BUSES FROM THE USELESS LINE 902 FROM THE VALLEY & INSTALL THEM ON THE SILVER LINE. I DO NOT KNOW WHY LINE 902 IS USING THESE BUSES WHEN THE LINE ITSELF IS A LIMITED ROUTE NOT AN BRT. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3) Stations: All the Metro Silver Line stations on the Harbor Transitway have no timetables, no metro system maps (showing the rail lines & orange line) & NO FARE SIGNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The stations has no platforms with the stay behind the yellow line warnings. At the Slauson Station I have seen countless people who literally sit on the platforms!!!!!!!!!! The stations have terrible places to sit down. THE STATIONS HAVE NO ARTWORKS WHATSOEVER!!!!!!! The station’s parking lots are nearly empty all the time. There are no ads about the Silver Line on the parking lots!!!!!!!!!!! The stations need to have the Metro pylon signs on the lower level (street level) on all the Silver line stations on the Harbor transitway!!!!!!! The Silver Line is the only line in the LRT/BRT system that does not have the Metro station pylon signs like this one:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Mariachi_Plaza_Station_LACMTA.jpg

    Because of this, people at the stations cannot tell if the Silver Line stops at a station.

    4) Frequency: Weekend frenquency on the Silver Line south of 7th Street Station is every 60 mins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People are not willing to spend an hour waiting for a supposed BRT Line. According to the approve June 2011 changes, the Silver Line’s Saturday frequency will improve from 60 mins to 40 mins. However Sunday service will still run every 60 mins. Where are the lines 445 (north of Artesia Transit Center) & 550 (north of Artesia Transit Center) resources going to on Sunday??????? No where!!!!!!!!!!! Metro could have taken these resources & added them on the Silver Line service south of 7th St. to provide a new 30 min. service. The Orange line does not have any time where the service runs every hour. The Silver Line should runs at least 30 mins or less on weekends south of 7th St.

    I would like to bring up these issues with the metro board.

  13. Victor

    I don’t know if 282 is a duplicate. I think 482 was 282 predecessor.

    I agree whole Valley part/Pomona was duplicate. However, 482 was very unreliable. 484 was terrible (compare to 482, it was so much advance). If MTA can increase the frequency of 194 and foothill increase the frequency of 282. I would not mind removing the duplicate. The thing is 194 is getting better but still not reliable. I have not taken 282 for a while. It is probably faster to walk anyway. Think about people live in Diamond Bar/Rowland Heights/Hacienda Heights. If they have to take 282 and 194 to get to El Monte or Downtown, it will be a torture experience. By making 282/484 coexist, will make buses run more frequently on Valley Blvd. In case, there is a bus driver strike, at least some people can take 282 to City of industry. Remember, there are many people taking buses to get to factories and warehouses along Valley blvd. I remember back in 90’s that it was faster for me to walk from Hacienda Heights to La Punete (1 hr). I would not mind cut 282 service only if 282/194 frequency can be increased significantly.

    I think silver streak and part of silver line are complete duplicate. I never take so i could not comment. If foothill phase out the silver streak (from El Monte Station to DTLA) and let MTA increase silver line. Foothill can use that resource to improve foot hill public transportation. MTA can increase silver line service. Please, don’t give that idea to foothill. Judging from MTA stream line enhancement, we really don’t want Foothill to follow MTA foot step, reduce the semi duplicate service and never increase the non duplicate service.

    I think there is also price problem. MTA tends to charge more while foothill charges less. Correct me if I am wrong. If foothill pass holder can get into MTA silver line without paying extra (not talking about zone fee), silver streak can be removed.

    not sure about other buses, so i would not comment. Remember streamline service must be accomplish first by increase the frequency of the bus first. Then we can talk about removing the duplicate

  14. @John I wouldn’t mind if Lines 190 and 194 gets turned over to Foothill Transit since they already go into the Foothill area. I do agree with expanding ridership and service for Foothill Transit. I have to agree with Southeat rider.

    khw- Foothill Transit at least keeps their bus fleet clean and MTA is not needed into the Pomona Valleys or Foothill areas. Plus those ares aren’t too popular. I actually think the Sliver Line should be shorten back at Union Station in order to have people use Sliver Streak.

    Foothill Transit is not spending money on the Gold Line extension, its Metro and the politicans.

    Foothill Transit doesn’t use light rail.

    @Victor The Sliver line buses doesn’t need these ticket vending machines and the its $2.75 since your going on the freeway and NOT the local streets. As for the Sliver colored buses, they are used on lines 902 to this day.

    I agree Sliver Line needs to use the Sliver colored NABI 45C buses but they don’t “installed” them on the line but I think you meant they do need “re-assign” them to Sliver Line only which they would have to transfer them to Division 9 and 18 yard since they operate the Sliver Line route. I corrected this part. I do agree Sliver Line should use the buses in the gray/Sliver paint scheme.

    Line 902 is based out of the Division 15 yard and they were used on local lines in the past.

    Don’t hate on Foothill Transit, service maybe terrible but their buses are clean compared to most of the bus fleet LA Metro has at least. Got to admit that.

    The Sliver Line station don’t need art work, thats not a big deal. I do agree it does need TVM for arrival.

    In the past I have seen FF’s Sliver streak crowded during night time. It maybe low at times but during saturday nights, I see a crowd on the sliver streak. Plus people from Downtown LA need access to Foothill and SB areas.

    I agree that Sliver Line service does need to be expanded.

  15. @Jose

    hard to tell whether bus cut will be deeper without measure R pass.

    I do know measure R is designed for rail improvement. One person with great knowledge of measure R told me some bus routes have to be cut to accommodate the rail constructions. I am not kidding. I started to argue (on the internet) about this stupid idea.

    Without measure R, definitely, there will not be any rail construction. The fare would have increase much earlier. More cut or less cut on the bus service, we those wise guys at MTA to tell us. Personally I think measure R is design for rail projects (including metro link). How people are going to get to rail stations without cars does not concern to MTA/Measure R designer/train only supporters

  16. The municipal/regional bus are a duplicate. We don’t need both MTA lines and municipal/regional bus on same place. Theres already an alternative. Muncipal bus companies aren’t that bad, I have rode them in the past and they seem pretty good but maybe service is worst but most have superior bus fleet.

  17. @khw

    Metro does plan their bus service to interact with their rail line. In their 2011 bus service changes one can see a list of new bus operations designed to integrate service with the soon to be opened Expo Line. Also the Park and Ride Lots only account for about 10% or less of Metro Rail’s ridership so I doubt metro is designing its system to entirely accommodate the private automobile but I would prefer that they charge for their parking lots and not provide those spaces free.

  18. @khw

    “Personally I think measure R is design for rail projects (including metro link)”

    Well what you think and what was approved by the voters is certainly not the same. 20% goes to bus operations. Yes there is a big chunk for rail, because most people want rail. Measure R is also funding highway improvements. So to say it is only for rail is disingenuous.

    “http://www.metro.net/measurer/images/expenditure_plan.pdf

  19. As Line 176 is the only Metro line stopping at the Mission Gold Line Station, it should be turned over into Montebello 30, since it really lacks weekend/holiday service at that station. Line 258 between Firestone Boulevard and Alondra Boulevard (on Garfield Avenue) should also be turned over into Montebello Line 30, which would fill the void on weekends and holidays. Line 258, as proposed, is supposed to extend to serve CSULA and connect with Line 79 on Huntington Drive. Normandie Avenue really lacks bus service on weekends and holidays between Imperial Highway and 135th Street, Gardena line 4 SHOULD extend to Imperial Hwy from 135th Street to fill that weekend/holiday void in and connect with Gardena 5 (on El Segundo Boulevard) and Line 120 (on Imperial Highway).

  20. Metro Lines 30 and 730 were previously planned to get turned over into Santa Monica lines 7 and Rapid 7, to become a single line on Pico Boulevard between Downtown LA and Santa Monica, as I’ve seen thru another proposal for the Expo Line. This helps lessen transfers.

    Metro Lines 35 and 335 should get turned over into Culver City line 1, becoming a single line on Washington Boulevard between Venice and Union Station, and replacing the former Line 58 on Alameda St.

    I think Line 217 should instead kept its current route, and extend to LAX Transit Hub via Line 439 on La Cienega and La Tijera Boulevard, to replace Line 42 and Line 42 should instead terminate at Fox Hills Transit Hub. Then Lines 180 and 181 should shorten back at Vermont/Sunset Red Line to connect with Lines 204/754. Then Line 780 would still remain the same as is, with a suggested eastern terminal moved to Sierra Madre Villa Station, providing a direct connection with the Gold Line and the proposed southern terminal at La Cienega Expo Line Station

  21. So…..which is it. The text said that the 757 was spared, while the March 24th document said it will be downgraded to limited service.

    • Hi O’Dawg;

      The 757’s weekday service was preserved. One of the reports to the Board of Directors did not reflect that weekday service was going to be continued, thus the source of the confusion. My apologies,

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  22. I have been a recent convert to public transportation. Commuting to work over the last 25 was never even close to convenient, but now that I work from my home, Metro has been a easy way to get from San Pedro to downtown.

    Generally, service in San Pedro is similar to that of a rural area compared to service I’ve experienced while visiting east coast cities.

    Service on lines 445, 246, 247 and 550 is generally an hourly service.

    Lines 446 and 447 with service to San Pedro were eliminated last year and shortened to lines 246 and 247. That left line 445 as the only provider of direct service to downtown Los Angeles.

    The elimination of lines 445 and 247 will make Metro too inconvenient to even consider.

    The changes will put me and others back in the driver’s seat. If the goal was to put more drivers on the road—the goal will be accomplished with this action.

    Those who are unable to drive will need to wait in the cold, heat and rain while they wait for infrequent service (especially night and weekend) at the Artesia Transit Center.

    The only advice I can give those people is to move out of the City of Los Angeles (San Pedro) and get someplace with direct service like Torrance or Long Beach.

    In general, if you don’t live near light rail, the municipal bus lines seem to be doing a much better job than MTA.

    See you on the freeway!

  23. Dean, I share your frustrations about the San Pedro area.

    I don’t like what has happened with the Harbor Freeway services. The Silver Line has made a fine mess of things.

    I think Metro has made the Silver Line a “walled garden” service (where it will be the only thing along the Harbor Transitway) because of the upcoming toll lanes project. Since the transit component of toll lane revenue must be spent directly on the corridor itself, the Silver Line is a “pure” service that makes sure there’s no argument over funding being diverted outside the Harbor Freeway corridor.

    A local/express bus, like the once-440s were, would raise legal questions of how to appropriate costs. Subsidizing 440s service would be OK for the freeway parts, but might be forbidden for the street-running parts in the South Bay and San Pedro. With a hybrid line like that, it’s hard to appropriate costs.

  24. Although, Dean, my solution in San Pedro would have been similar to what Metro has done with the routes now.

    I’d turn over the local San Pedro lines to LADOT. They could be DASH-branded, or a separate component that charges higher than DASH’s 35 cents but less than Metro’s $1.50 (like Line 142).

    Routes would meet in downtown San Pedro, and the Silver Line would now run all the way to downtown San Pedro. It would serve the forgotten freeway stops at Carson Street and PCH, and still get you to downtown in about 30-45 minutes.