Latest bus service changes and the ideas behind them


Timetables that take effect Dec. 13 are here

If bus stops are being consolidated along a line, an advisory will be next to the timetable

More about the changes is below.

Longer read: 

As many of you know, Metro usually adjusts bus and/or rail service twice a year — in December and June.

That’s the case again this year, with the coming December changes listed at the bottom of this post. Some changes are needed to accommodate construction projects while others are the routine updates, some at the request of riders.

There is another big reason for some of the changes: over the next several years, Metro will be making several changes in an effort to speed up bus service and provide more frequent service on lines that are already busy. The idea is to boost bus ridership — which has been in decline in recent years — and build a larger network of bus lines with service every 15 minutes or less.

The plan is outlined in a document called the Transit Services Policy. It’s a document updated every few years. Its purpose is simple: to explain how Metro intends to operate its buses and trains.

The Metro Board approved the most recent update earlier this year but with a new wrinkle: this version of the document incorporates several recommendations from a peer review committee that was hired by Metro to take a critical look at Metro’s fares and operations and then to suggest improvements.

Three basic changes that you will see reflected in this December’s changes and and future service proposals:

Metro will at times be shifting some bus service hours from low-ridership lines to higher ridership lines. This is part of the frequent service plan mentioned above. It’s important to know that Metro will not be canceling bus service in areas where there is no other bus service or no other bus agency willing to take over a Metro route.

Metro will be reducing the number of bus stops on some routes in order to speed up bus service and help keep buses on schedule. On local lines, the average distance between stops will be a maximum of one-quarter mile while the average distance on limited lines will be a maximum of .6 miles. Don’t fret. Busy bus stops will remain in service. The idea here is to eliminate stops that are already used infrequently and are close to other stops.

Metro currently designs its service to limit the number of people who stand on the bus to no more than 30 percent of the number of seats. The agency is increasing that number to 40 percent to provide more flexibility in the way it schedules buses. Bottom line: some routes in the future may have a few more riders who must stand, while others may have less.

Here are the service changes that take effect on Dec. 13:

Beginning December 13, 2015, Metro is making several changes to improve the efficiency of your bus service. For complete details, please see the revised timetables. Lines with the most significant changes are as follows:

33 Owl Service

Between the hours of 1–4 am, the Patsaouras Transit Plaza will be closed. Patrons should board Line 33 at the existing stop on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Vignes Street.


Due to the closure of the 6th St Bridge for 3–5 years, Lines 18 and 720 will operate from 6th St to 7th St using Alameda St on the west side of the LA River and Boyle St on the east side of the LA River. A new stop on Line 18 will be added at Whittier Bl and Boyle St, and along 7th St between Boyle St and Alameda St.


Due to construction on Broadway, southbound bus service on Broadway will move to southbound Spring St. Lines 45 and 745 will make all stops now served by Line 40 on Spring St, allowing patrons to use any of the three lines to continue south. Line 45 will transition from Broadway to Spring St via Cesar Chavez and from Spring St back to Broadway via 11th St. Line 745 will use Spring St from Cesar Chavez to 11st St and return to Broadway.


Construction on the I-5 Fwy is complete and service will resume its regular routing to and from Disneyland. Buses that operate westbound on Alondra Bl to Valley View Av, will continue via Alondra Bl, Carmenita Rd, Rosecrans Av and use the regular route to Norwalk and Downtown Los Angeles. The eastbound route will follow the same routing.


Service after 7 p.m. in both directions has been discontinued and new earlier trips have been added to the schedule to better accommodate shift changes. Patrons needing service after 7 p.m. may access Beach Cities Transit Line 109. Three new trips will operate in the 2 p.m. hour; eastbound trips will now depart World Way West at 2:09 and 2:29 p.m., and one westbound trip will depart Aviation/LAX Station at 2:35 p.m.


More mid-day weekday Rapid trips have been scheduled to improve service from the current 20-min to 15-min headway.

910/950X Silver Line/NEW Silver Line Express

The Silver Line will be extended south from the Harbor Gateway Transit Center to San Pedro via the route of Line 450, which is discontinued. Monday through Friday, a new express version of the Silver Line will begin operation in the morning and afternoon peak travel periods. The new Line 950X Silver Line Express will operate to and from San Pedro, Harbor Gateway Transit Center, Downtown LA and El Monte. The new express line skips the following stations on the Harbor Transitway: Rosecrans, Manchester, Slauson and 37th St. In Downtown LA, a new stop has been added on 6th St at Flower St. All stops from Downtown LA will be served by both lines, therefore expanding service for patrons riding north of 7th/Metro. The fare for both lines will be $2.50.

Please see this Source post for more information about the extension to San Pedro.

Bus Stop Consolidation

Downtown bus stops on Olive Street, Grand Avenue and Hill Street have been reorganized to better facilitate the movement of buses and provide a faster and smoother trip through Downtown L.A. If your bus uses any of these three streets, please consult a route map to obtain the location of all the stop changes. Outside of Downtown L.A., bus stop consolidation has taken place on Lines 2, 14/37, 28, 30, 40, 45, 55, 68, 70, 71, 78/79, 81, 83, 90, 169, 150, 180, 204, 206, 207, 256, 485 & 686. Please see the bus stop consolidation notices on the new timetables page — they are next to the new timetables.

29 replies

  1. I have questions…Will there be stops on the 950 currently served by the SilverLine on Figueroa? (Washington, Pico & Olympic?) Currently, the 450 only stops when exiting the 110 at Adams, 8th & 7th Street. If so, this defeats the purpose of the 950 being a true “express” bus. If saving money was my main reason for taking the bus to work, I would be better off driving as I do not spend $100.00 per month on gas. (My firm pays for my parking.) I ride the bus to work to save mileage on my car, to be able to read and to not stress out driving to work. I will give this a try for a month or so and may have to re-visit driving to work.

    • Hi Mary;

      The 950 will stop at all the same stops used currently by the Silver Line in downtown Los Angeles. Take a look at the map — I think the 950 should get you close to your workplace.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Remember this is a politically driven extension (technically, based on a motion by Councilman and Metro board member Joe Buscaino). Staff gave reasons why an extension was not necessary – – but was persuaded to do it anyway. Quite frankly, the new 950 saves literally two to three minutes in each direction by skipping the stops.

      There is a way to run an alternative overlay of all day service from San Pedro-Los Angeles as a separate line while reducing the HGTC-El Monte trips on the Silver Line, which would be similar to how Foothill Transit runs Montclair-Los Angeles on top of the El Monte Busway portion, but that would overserve the Harbor Transitway on middays and weekends. Overall I would expect a lot of “express” riders to just take the first bus, and over time the express service be folded into one service again.

    • Ummm….the 450 has been serving San Pedro for years. The line was cancelled and replaced by the Silver Line.

  2. I think it is a good idea to have 15 minute headways on popular crowded buses like mentioned above. However, I would like to see the Green Line increase their headways. Having to wait almost 20 minutes for the train to arrive is ridiculous. Also, I hope that Metro eventually gets longer buses on the Silver Line. Too many people have to stand all the way on the Harbor Transitway. It is long overdue that Metro do something about providing larger buses or increasing the service. It probably would have worked better if it had bee built as light rail to begin with.

  3. I’d love to see better service frequency on the 266 bus (Rosemead Blvd.) out of pure self interest. 30-40 minute waits between buses are pretty brutal. I’d love to know more about how these decisions get made. I assume areas with higher residential or job density or a higher density of people without cars get first consideration for frequent service. Even so, how do you know the ridership potential of a line for sure until you try to run it with frequent service (i.e. no more than 15 minutes between buses)? You can’t run a bus every 40 minutes, observe low ridership and then conclude that nobody wants to ride the bus, just that nobody wants to wait that long for a bus.

  4. “Metro will be making several changes in an effort to speed up bus service and provide more frequent service on lines that are already busy.”

    You can’t speed up bus service when the street traffic conditions are bad with traffic from other cars and you can’t expect more people to take the bus just on frequent services alone. All those ideas have been done in Korea too many years ago and it didn’t solve anything. You need to go much more in-depth than that to solve the growing problem of stressful overcrowding, inequality in fares, and slower services due to heavy congested street traffic.

    I highly suggest that Metro take a look at how Seoul managed to reform their bus system. You guys should send some folks to Seoul, Korea and learn what they did. They did an excellent job in making a poorly run bus system that has been continuously losing money into a well run bus system that churns a profit.

    Learn from the experts!
    한국의 버스 는 최고다 ~!

  5. Everybody,

    Here’s a few observations I see that makes this change more beneficial to the current riders;

    Current service vs. New service:

    Current Line 450
    Direct San Pedro to DTLA-6 trps in AM (30-40 min Freq), 3 trps in PM (60 min Freq)
    Direct DTLA to San Pedro-6 trps in AM (30-40 min Freq), 6 trps in PM (6-40 min Freq)

    New Silver Express Line 950
    Direct San Pedro to DTLA-11 trps in AM (20-40 min Freq), 10 trps in PM (20-25 min Freq)
    DIrect DTLA to San Pedro-12 trps in AM (22-45 min Freq), 9 trps in PM (20-30 min Freq)

    Cost to ride:
    Current Line 450 direct between San Pedro & DTLA: $2.50
    Current Line 450 transfer to Silver Line : $1.75 + $2.50 = $4.25
    (With TAP card, it would still cost $1.75 + .75 cent zone charge because of cost on Line 450 to HGTC and transfer to Silver Line)


    I don’t see a problem here…. I see more benefits to travel ladies and gentlemen!!!!


      You forgetting one crucial aspect: not everyone travels San Pedro to DTLA. Different riding distances patterns between people, if price remains the same regardless of length, the longer distance rider is getting a better deal per mile over those who travels shorter distances.

      • MY comment was refering to people who make that commute on a regular basis… And in addition to Jeff’s and Mary’s comments above.

  6. How do we find out which stops are being removed to make people’s lives just a little bit more miserable… sorry, I mean “consolidated”? The preview bus schedules don’t make it clear. I guess I’ll find out when I get to my stop next Monday. Will I have to walk 5 more blocks? Who knows, but I’m sure we’ll all have a lot of fun finding out!

    Other things that aren’t clear – just how much is removing stops going to speed up service *overall*? Let’s say that only one bus in ten has to stop at an infrequently used stop. Nine buses will simply go past it. The 10th bus will be slowed down to let off or on one or two passengers (it’s infrequently used, remember), which isn’t going to take more than about 20 or 30 seconds. How is this tiny time savings to one bus on the line going to translate to faster service throughout the system?

    Oh, and if it doesn’t speed up service, will more stops be killed?

    I realize all these questions really should have been directed at the neighborhood service councils or the board or whoever ultimately made the decisions, and that it’s far too late now. It’s my fault for not paying more attention. But I just don’t see any way in which removing stops makes service faster by any appreciable amount. The simplest and most obvious reason for the ridership drops is that the economy has been improving and gas prices have been dropping: more people are able to drive. This move can only lose more riders.

    • Hi Eric;

      The stops that are being eliminated should be hooded either by now or very soon. As for the speed issue, let’s be real — it may not be a huge difference but also may help buses move along their routes a little more efficiently and hit more green lights.

      As for the gas price issue, there has been a lot of talk about it in transit circles and one line of thinking currently in favor suggests that gas prices have little impact on transit ridership. In other words, those who are gonna drive are gonna drive and those who are gonna take transit are gonna take transit.

      I think the perception among those who have a choice between driving and taking the bus is that buses are far slower and not as convenient. I suspect those factors play a bigger role than gas prices.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Dude. “Let’s be real” isn’t evidence or an actual argument. HOW is removing the underused stops supposed to improve speed? If you’ve got some sort of evidence, let’s see it. You’re already hedging your bets with saying “it may not be a huge difference.” So then why are we screwing over people who use infrequently used stops? Buses aren’t trains, they can just go past a stop that isn’t used!

        I guess if “transit circles” agree with you about gas prices, there’s not much I can say except that it’s about as persuasive an argument as telling me “Let’s be real.”

        I can, at least, agree with you that buses are often seen as being slow and not convenient. Let me ask you, though, what do you think is more convenient: Having to walk 3/4 of a mile to the bus stop but getting a ride that might “move along their routes more efficiently and hit more green lights,” or walking a few blocks to a bus that takes ever so slightly longer to get there?

  7. How soon will we see the times posted for the stops in San Pedro? The current Silverline PDF is still dated June, 2105.

      • But that’s the point Steve Hymon, why isn’t the schedule available in print form yet or at least as a PDF on the website?

        Also, could you please explain more about the Patsaouras Bus Plaza closure? Because this does not only effect riders of Metro’s Route 33. Where is LAX FlyAway going to arrive and depart from? Those catching early flights might like to know.

        • I put the links in for the other bus lines. We’re trying to find out about the plaza but don’t have any information right now. I don’t think a plaza closure is imminent.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  8. Having rode Metro for the last eleven years this bi-annual change is not handled in a way that is helpful to its ridership.
    1. New schedules are not available on the buses until after the change. 2. More often than not the newly assigned drivers are not familiar with their routes . This is especially detrimental to those of us who take the first bus out (early am connections) because it results in connection not being met Nothing that has been written seems to address those issues

  9. Complaint # 1: Some of the buses just say “Silverline.”
    Complaint # 2: If I understood correctly, both the 910 and 950 are supposed to stop at 6th & Flower? The 910 driver informed met that only the 950X stops at 6th & Flower…..What is the correct answer?

    Today’s commute was very frustrating!

  10. Honestly, Metro learning from the Korean bus reform idea is getting to be an idea worth exploring.