Motion by Mayor Villaraigosa seeks to preserve and possibly expand bus service

The Metro Board of Directors is meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m. and one of the items to be discussed is the following motion by Los Angeles Mayor and Board Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa.

After several rounds of bus service cuts and changes in the past few years — Villaraigosa voted against the most recent cuts — the motion seeks to prevent cuts to any more “tier 1” lines. Those, generally speaking, are Metro’s busiest bus lines.

The Villaraigosa motion also seeks to expand bus rapid transit in L.A. County, use TAP as the basis for a regional fare system and generate more data on bus ridership.

The discussion, I predict, will involve the costs of some of those goals. Metro is on the verge of beginning construction on several large transit projects funded by Measure R and both state and federal funds for transit operations are declining. The other policy question is whether this data, if generated, will be used or vanish into the ether.

Here is the motion below — click on the pages to see them larger.

52 replies

  1. @Cyclist Fan

    Same thing happened in NY; the pay-per-ride got so expensive that it made no sense for short distance riders to use the subway or bus for a short ride. It just shifted more people AWAY from public transit to find other means to get around shorter distances like biking or buying a moped.

    But on the other hand, the NYMTA continued to rely on the “add more frequencies and passengers ridership will increase” theory so they ended up borrowing more to add more new buses and subways. But ridership numbers weren’t increasing as much as they thought they would because the pay-per-ride transit fares made it uneconomical for short distance riders. They ended up with a larger debt because more people were biking instead of paying $2.00 per ride.

    What was the outcome? Even higher fares, even higher taxes. First it went to $2.20, now it’s $2.50 per ride. And they’re calling for more higher transit fares in 2013 and 2015. But they don’t seem to “get” that the more they continue to raise fares, they just push more people to bike instead.

    One poster mentioned how public transit competes with cars? Well the more fare increases they charge everybody, they’re just going to end up competing with bicyclists as well.

    LA should not follow NY’s death spiral. They need to research this flat rate pay-per-ride fare system with the “add more frequencies and passengers ridership will increase” theory with other markets to see if it’s actually adding more riders or just putting them into more debt instead.

    I escaped NY so I don’t have to deal with continuous increase on fares across the board year after year. I don’t want to see that happen to LA.

  2. With all this talk of metros fares being too high and forcing people to bicycle for their short distances, I am not seeing this as necessarily a bad thing. Cycling is the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation next to walking and promotes good public health. Sure metros fares may have the unintended consequence of deterring short distance riders and potential loss of revenue for the system, but the health and environmental benefits of those who choose cycling as alternative to both public transit and the personal automobile are to big to ignore.