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. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. @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:

    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.

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  4. 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

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  5. @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.

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  6. @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

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  7. 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.

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