How We Roll, Feb. 23: how many people are using ride hailing to get to Metro stations?

Short things to read whilst transiting: there are still at least 29 people left in the U.S. (or rather a competition in the U.S.) who don’t know who won the Super Bowl earlier this month. If you still don’t know, here’s a spoiler: the Cincinnati Bengals won 81-0 over the 49ers!

Long things to read whilst transiting: how to be frugal, pinch pennies and retire by the time you’re 30. A New Yorker profile of Mr. Mustache.

Lyft may share data on rides that begin and end at Metro stations (LAT)


Metro is negotiating an agreement with Lyft aimed at learning more about ride-share trips that begin and end at key Metro stations, agency staff members say. The relationship would last at least a year and would give Metro a rare peek at data typically kept private.

What does Lyft get out of it? They declined comment but Metro will advertise for Lyft in exchange for the data. It’s a change for the agency to learn more about how people get to/from transit and possibly forge deals with ride hailing companies in the future.

Question for readers: do you use or know someone who uses ride hailing to get to and from stations? I’ve spotted a few Uber or Lyft cars picking up or dropping off folks outside Metro stations in the past few years — but that’s just a random sampling? Is it pretty common, do you think? Comment please, preferably using one name and one IP address (sorry, but we’re on Troll Watch these days).

Better yet, let’s try a poll:

First construction photos of pedestrian bridge at Universal Red Line stop (Curbed LA)

The first! The bridge will span busy Lankershim Boulevard and is expected to be done this spring. Here’s the page from Metro’s latest construction update to the agency’s Board:

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

Seas are rising at fastest rate in last 28 centuries (NYT)

The latest climate change bad news, courtesy of a pair of new studies. Clogged storm drains and flooded streets are a typical symptom in many places. It’s not really an issue along our coast — our land rises steeply enough from the beach unlike places such as Miami.

Related, the NYT also has a cool online feature allowing viewers to see how hot their city was in 2015, the Earth’s hottest year on record going back to the late 1800s. Here’s the results from Pasadena — that’s an awful lot of days above the the average range of temperatures.

Source: NYT.

Click above to see larger. Source: NYT.

As we’ve noted before, generally speaking taking transit rather than driving alone is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Related: over at the Guardian, one writer says don’t try to save everything from global warming.

Trains and bikes: the odd couple is getting hitched (SGV Tribune)

Reporter Steve Scauzillo describes hearing Rosemead City Councilman Steven Ly demand a class I bike path (separated from the road) this way:

It’s a game-changer. Something I never heard in my journalism career 30 years ago, not even 10 years ago. But Ly (pronounced Lee) talking about bike paths separated from traffic for people to reach shopping areas and their own driveways on a two-wheeled, nonpolluting conveyance is remarkable.

The bicycle is back! And frankly, it may have taken immigrants from Asia who are much more used to bicycling along city streets than their American counterparts to bring it home.

Steve says it’s critical that cities pursue more bike paths that are somehow separated from traffic — rather than the typical approach in So Cal to date, which is to paint a narrow bike lane next to the curb and next to traffic. I couldn’t agree more and attentive readers know that saying the word “sharrows” to me triggers a relentless stream of negativity often accompanied by pottymouth language.

Steve also some good news:

The Duarte station will feature a paved on-ramp to the San Gabriel River Bikeway. The city has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers to get this little bike path done. That won’t happen until May, said City Councilwoman Margaret Finlay. But it hasn’t stopped Metro from posting pictures of happy bicycle riders linked to the Duarte/City of Hope Station.

I didn’t know this! I had asked readers recently about getting to the Bikeway from the Irwindale Station (the Bikeway and that station are both on the east side of the river), but it turns out that Duarte is working on a connection that would help get cyclists down to the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, where they could pick up the bike trail as it swings south.

The San Gabriel River Bike Trail on the section where it runs atop the Santa Fe Dam. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

The San Gabriel River Bike Trail on the section where it runs atop the Santa Fe Dam. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Ushering in the Year of the Monkey on the bullet train (LAT)

Nice look at what the LAT says is probably the largest human migration on Earth — Chinese returning to their homes for the Spring Festival. And millions of them are migrating on the nation’s new network of bullet trains.


11 replies

  1. [Venice Expo Culver City] If I’m in a hurry, I’ll call an Uber. If the 733 or 33 are more than 15 minutes away (regardless of my schedule), I’ll call an Uber, if it’s late and I’m really tired (usually coming from metro to home) I’ll call an Uber.

    I won’t hail an uber during rush hour (basically the same speed as a bus along Venice Blvd), while there’s surge pricing or if a bus is less than 10 minutes

    Not to discourage the partnership with Lyft, but I never use lyft, the fares are always significantly higher and there’s no cost estimator. Last I recall, Lyft was doing about 2.5 million trips per month vs Uber doing about 20 million per month. I hope the Lyft data, while less quantitative, will be equally representative of trends in LA.

  2. I have always taken an Uber home to Santa Monica from Culver City Station when it’s late at night (after 10 pm). I’m looking forward to not needing to do that and saving the money once Expo II opens in May.

  3. I occasionally Lyft to Hollywood &Highland or to Culver and take either train to Metro Center. Depends on which part of town I’m in but its a great, if expensive, last mile solution.

  4. I posted a comment about the path from Duarte to San Gabriel Bikeway a few days ago under the Gold Line extension video. Regardless of who finds out the info, I am just glad bikes are getting traffic separated paths!

    Also, I have taken Lyft and Lyft Line to the train station a couple of times when I am running late.

  5. I generally don’t use Uber/Lyft to get to Metro stations. Fortunately, my home is about 10 minutes’ walk from Vermont and Santa Monica and if I’m in a rush I can generally catch a 204/754. I have occasionally used Uber from destination points, especially on the Westside and in the Valleys where service is clunky or not frequent enough. Recently I can recall taking Uber from the Green Line El Segundo station, Red Line NoHo station and Gold Line Lake stations. The municipal bus services can be a killer. People don’t want to pay twice for one trip, but if they have decided to, and if they’re with a group, it can be only marginally more expensive to hail an Uber from the station. And it’s almost always faster.
    More frequently, when I use Uber, it’s to replace Metro trips for one reason or another. Evening frequencies are a big part of this and wait times can balloon even relatively simple trips into hour-long ordeals.

  6. Even where bus lines run a similar route, an advantage of ride hailing is door-to-door service. Bus riders may still have to walk a few blocks to or from the nearest stops, or transfer lines if necessary. The shared data might lead you to reroute some buses to where there’s higher demand, though I’d suspect many of these Lyft trips still have the advantage of potentially going where a bus can’t, on customized routes or smaller streets.

  7. The Phantom drives to the nearest Metro or Metrolink Station. If there is a fee to park, I drive all the way to a station that has free parking, or to the destination.

    • It’s a shame you’ll forgo the benefits of metro all to avoid a $3 parking fee… Most assuredly you won’t be missed from those lots that begin to charge, and someone else will benefit from the spot you no longer occupy

      Safe Travels!!

  8. I have used Lyft before to get from stations to work, but only as a new rider when they were doing $5 off the first ten rides. While I don’t begrudge the drivers for trying to make some money, the cost of an on demand ride is much more than the bus, so usually I’ll just walk or wait for infrequent service. Lyft Line does not go in my area so I cannot take advantage of that discount.

  9. I live in the southern Arts District and commute to Culver City occasionally.

    I never Uber to the station in the morning, the 760 does the trick.

    If I leave work in Culver later than 7:30 PM, I usually have Uber home from 7th/Metro unless I want to wait by the side of the road for half an hour, after 8 the 760 turns into a pumpkin and the 60 gets really scarce.

  10. Concerning Bike Lanes. i saw a interesting concept on King St. in Honolulu , Hi. where it is One Way. They took the parking lane on the left side of the street next to the number one traffic lane and made it the Bike Lane. The number one traffic lane became the parking lane. The only hazard was the driver of a parked car opening his door into the bike lane. The danger is lessened because the bike rider won’t be falling into a traffic lane.

    Although I’m no longer a youngster I still remember hitting the drivers door opened into my path more than once while riding in Los Angeles. Once a MCL or MTA bus had to stop quickly so as to avoid hitting me as I laid briefly in the street.

    Now when I go bike riding it is either in Griffith Park or at the beach where I only have to ride in the street for a block or two from where I parked my SUV.

    In my opinion “Bike Lanes” where the only so called protection is a white line painted in the street only give a rider the false sense of security. The line will not stop someone from drifting into the “Bike Lane” plus as I pointed out previously drivers of autos opening their door without looking into the path of a bike rider. All the laws in the world will not save ones life if hit by a motor vehicle. Plus there are those who ride bikes think nothing of challenging the drivers of motor vehicles.

    One day A fellow RTD Supervisor told me a story about an accident involving a bike rider he had to investigate that morning. It seems the bike rider thought and accused a Bus Operator of cutting him off. So the bike rider passed the bus and then slammed on his brakes directly in front of the bus. The Bus Operator was unable to stop safely and the bus bumper ended up on top of the rear wheel of the bike. The bike rider was not injured however became further enraged and physically committed a Assault & Battery on the stunned Bus Operator. Needless to say, the bike rider was arrested.