Art of Transit:
In the first four weeks of the Gold Line extension of Azusa, the number of “taps” at the new stations grew from almost 4,000 in the first week to nearly 5,000 in the fourth week. A Metro survey of 654 riders conducted March 22-24 also found 57 percent of the new riders who boarded at the new stations were bound for Pasadena and 29 percent going to downtown L.A.
“We knew we would have a lot of new riders but we didn’t think we would have that many,” Metro CEO Phil Washington told the Trib. “Ridership has been booming on that line.”
Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise: a Pasadena official tells the Trib that the city has 110,000 jobs with 60 to 75 percent of employees living outside Pasadena (which has a population of about 140,000).
The survey also asked how riders made this trip previously: 66 percent said they drove alone, 14 percent took the bus, eight percent carpooled, eight percent took Metrolink and four percent said ‘other.’
About rider satisfaction: one third of all respondents said they thought more parking was needed at stations (in particular the Azusa stations) and one third of all comments were about wanting longer trains and more frequent trains.
As my colleague Anna wrote recently, Metro has more new light-rail vehicles on order and they will be added to the Gold Line fleet after they are delivered and adequately prepared for service. As for train frequency, Metro continues to evaluate ridership with changes possible in the future.
One other thing to think about: it’s great to see the Gold Line doing well. Even with service beginning to the new stations on March 5 (and closed March 6 due to the truck accident on the 210) and the Little Tokyo Station being closed until late March, the Gold Line will have more than 50,000 estimated weekday boardings in March. But let’s not forget a shout out to the Blue Line, which in the same month had 76,000 estimated weekday boardings. #workhorse
Really interesting read on efforts to figure out and assemble a digital map on the microbus system. Quite unlike rigidly-managed bus routes in American cities, the microbuses are much more informal and pretty much anyone with the right kind of vehicle can start their own route.
As for routes, there are estimated to be about 1,500 of them serving 14 million riders. That’s in addition to the busy Mexico City Metro (the subway) and the Metrobus BRT.
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel pledges to add 50 miles of bike lanes that are protected from car traffic over the next three years. Regular bike lanes are often good — but let’s face it, you have to get used to only having a line of paint between you and a really big piece of steel.
It’s only a four-block stretch, but officials say it’s a stretch where buses and traffic tend to get bogged down. So it’s interesting to see if this kind of smaller, strategic approach can improve bus service — and, if so, will other agencies follow suit?
Categories: Transportation Headlines