Metro’s proposed $7.2-billion budget for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year was released last week. As part of the normal review process, Metro CEO Phil Washington added bus service hours to the number that was posted online — from 7,019,376 to 7,094,376.
Some points we want to make sure everyone understands:
•Service would be added to the busy 910 Silver Line and the popular 460 Bus between downtown L.A. and Anaheim.
•The budget gives Metro the flexibility to add bus service for special events (Dodgers games, USC football, etc.) and for bus shuttles during the ongoing work to modernize the Blue Line.
•The changes include bus service hours for the extra day in 2020 (Feb. 29), which is a Leap Year.
Metro is also making changes to rail service hours that will help standardize train frequencies, improve on-time performance, provide three-car trains at peak hours and save taxpayer money by reducing under-used service.
•During peak hours all Blue, Expo and Gold Line trains will be three cars instead of the current mix of two-car and three-car trains.
•Weekday peak hour frequencies for the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines would have trains running every eight minutes instead of the current every six minutes (Blue and Expo) or seven minutes (Gold). This is to make frequencies consistent and more efficient on Metro’s three busiest light rail lines.
•On the Blue Line, every train would run every eight minutes between 7th/Metro and Downtown Long Beach instead of trains running every six minutes between 7th/Metro and Willow and every 12 minutes between Willow and Downtown Long Beach. Blue Line customers will experience less waiting time for trains from Downtown L.A. to Long Beach.
Metro CEO Phil Washington stresses that Metro, as always, will monitor bus and rail ridership and can adjust service at any time based on changing demand.
Phil also believes that this proposed budget is the most responsible fiscal path forward that will allow Metro to balance its many missions: run the third-busiest transit system in the U.S., expand and improve our local transportation network, innovate new mobility solutions and keep the system in a State of Good Repair to reduce breakdowns, delays and the expense of replacing assets broken beyond repair.