How did 405 closure impact Metro ridership this weekend?

The answer, according to Metro officials, is that it was a mixed bag — due, in part, to reduced travel in the region. The evidence suggests that people didn’t just stop driving, they stopped going anywhere for good chunks of the weekend.

Metro offered free service on the Orange Line busway, the Red and Purple Line subway and 26 other bus lines. The agency also increased service on a number of bus lines to help people travel between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

Metro officials believe ridership was up about 15 to 20 percent on the Orange Line busway, the Red Line subway and the Green Line. On the other hand, bus ridership looks like it was up slightly on some lines and down slightly on others.

One reason that it’s hard to calculate ridership for this weekend is that there was a lot of free service, meaning the agency don’t have fare media data they normally would have to help count passengers on buses and trains.

Metro officials also observed that it appeared more people than usual in the Valley were traveling with luggage, suggesting that they were using Metro Rail to travel to LAX, given that the 405 was closed. The Galaxy-Real Madrid soccer match at the Coliseum on Saturday also looked to draw extra riders on the Red Line and the 754 Vermont bus.

8 replies

  1. “Metro officials also observed that it appeared more people than usual in the Valley were traveling with luggage, suggesting that they were using Metro Rail to travel to LAX, given that the 405 was closed.” <- That is what seems to best explain increased ridership on the Green Line.

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  2. If “extra ridership” can be observed (or anticipated!), then HOW COME MORE SERVICE CANNOT BE PERMENANTLY ADDED WHERE IT IS?? I HAVE TOLD THE MTA ABOUT MORE SERVICE (DUE TO INCREASED RIDERSHIP!) BEING NEEDED ON LINES 266 AND 270 OUT HERE IN THE SGV FOR MONTHS NOW! RESPONSE: NOTHING!

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  3. John makes a good point in saying that metro should use this event as an example of why it needs to increase service on bus lines in general. The only way to really do that is to decrease head ways to 15 minutes or less. Otherwise people who have a choice will likely not ride do to long wait times and/or time between the next bus arrival. Most LA buses seem to be spaced at least 30 minutes apart and often an hour head way wise making them generally perceived as not reliable because they aren’t there when you need them where as the rail lines and orange line bus all have reliable, much more frequent service. This in part is what makes the rail or dedicated lines so much more appealing. But buses are very important in connecting to rail lines so their frequencies should represent that.

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  4. @ Connor

    I agree with you and I believe Metro is in the process of doing just that. I recently compared the new 15 min map to the one prior to the June service changes and I noticed an increase in the number of services provided on the map though I believe more could done. Having services that connect with rail, transitway, or extremely busy bus corridors have frequencies of at least 15 mins would be ideal.

    The Orange Line may need a capacity upgrade to handle the increase passenger traffic if their is to 15 min service on all of its stations.

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  5. The increased frequency enhanced the experience for me – I take the RedLine to Hollywood and downtown whenever I can, but shorter waits like in Europe might make a difference for many.

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  6. Jeff Summers is right, the Sunday Headways can be horrendous. Especially on busses. Gold Line is only 12 minutes. When you mix bus trips with rail on Sundays *cringe* you will have infrequent or new riders asking “where’s my bus/train” and nextrip will show them it will be a while.

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