Express bus between Long Beach and DTLA will continue as pilot program

The map and timetable for Line 456, offering express bus service between downtown Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles beginning Monday, Nov. 4.

 

Metro has announced that, following the full reopening of the Metro A Line (Blue) peak hour express bus service will continue running from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. The Line 860 express between Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles proved very popular during the Blue Line closures and Metro will run similar service as a pilot program as part of Line 456. 

Metro bus line 456 will run on weekdays with four northbound morning trips from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles and four southbound evening trips from downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach. Departure times are from Long Beach between 6:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and from 7th Street/Metro Center from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday to Friday. The map and timetable are above.

Fares will be adjusted to the $2.50 base fare, which is Metro’s standard fare for freeway express lines. Regular fare passholders (1-day, 7-day, 30-day) may board with a 75 cent upcharge in cash or stored value. Reduced fare passholders (Senior/Disabled, Student, etc.) are not subject to an upcharge. Service will continue to be provided by 60-foot articulated buses.

Customers traveling outside of these time periods are reminded that the Metro A Line (Blue) will be fully reopened, providing fast, frequent and reliable service between Long Beach and Los Angeles every day. Line 456 will begin service on Monday, November 4.

Here’s an article that ran last week about the express bus in the Long Beach Press Telegram.

What do you think, riders and readers?

31 replies

  1. Hey Steve. Do you know if there are any plans of starting the Blue Line schedule earlier to be able to connect to the first and/or second Red Line Train in 7/th Metro?

  2. I remember riding the 456 way, way back in the day. I think I had a 456 schedule that had the Blue line shown too. It was only a short period when they overlapped. I seem to remember having to pay for two express fair zones to ride it. It was something like 5 min faster than the Blue Line IF here was no traffic. As if that ever happened.

    I also remember it only ran once every half hour off peak. I wondered how whole trains were going to be filled when it wasn’t even a particularly busy bus route.

    • Only 4 trips in the peak direction during the peak hour? Why can’t it run in both directions, with 15 headways?

      • How many people are actually going from Downtown to Long Beach (Reverse-peak commute)?

        Those buses need to stay packed in order for Metro to notice and expand service.

        That and there may even need rerouting if Possible to use the 105 to 110 HOV/HOT Lanes. . . Or are those lanes still as packed as the 405?

  3. The line should have been numbered 436 in memory of the old 36 line that used to run between Los Angeles and Long Beach before the Blue Line (A Line) was created.

  4. Seeing as this is a pilot, it may be more prudent after the pilot ends to give this route to LBT or LADOT considering how this is a peak-only route. The pricing also seems more geared to people with a little more disposable income. I know LADOT would probably charge more because of the zone pricing they do but maybe LBT would keep it flat. On another note, the Silver Line needs its fares lowered to $1.75 and the upcharge gone if y’all are going to really treat is as one of the regional rapid transit options (i.e like the Orange Line)– ridership would be bound to go higher as result

  5. I think its a great idea, choices, that’s what riders want, perhaps, maybe even some riders may feel “safer” on a bus than on a train, because at least on a bus, one may feel a sense of security because you have a driver in plain view, and can stop anywhere. On the other hand, a train, the operator is locked up fully unaware of what may be going on three cars back–even with those so called emergency intercoms, I have seen them being used, yet the operator ignores the calls and the train just keeps on moving.

  6. I really hope that the Metro Express livery could return to express routes with the reintroduction of Line 456.

  7. You bring up a good point. Will the service be faster than the A line when you factor in traffic? I’ve been on the 860 during peek hours and it’s death! The A Line isn’t subject to the 405 like the 456 will be….

  8. The only reason Metro is keeping it, is because it’s Gateway people are too scared to ride the train. And Metro magically found some service hours for the 456, instead of putting it towards the Silver Line during those time periods.
    Metro no longer cares about its customers, solely it’s Gateway Employees.
    It’s the truth, ask Phil.

    Metro shouldn’t hide that from the public, and Steve or Anna should actually address this and actually give us all the answers we need.

    Maybe those that work for Gateway also shouldn’t feel so entitled when they board a bus either. Especially when it comes to an operator getting confronted by passengers. Operators protect operators on or off clock, but Gateway people.. ha they’re like deers looking into headlights.

    It was a great service as the 860, but we have the A Line, no need for “Service Duplication.”

    Please don’t delete, the public needs to see and realize the truth.
    Thanks!

  9. What about riders who have to be at work by 7am? When I help start the petition, it was started by mostly riders who were catching the first two 860s out of Long Beach to downtown. You’re still forcing those riders to catch the Blue line which I don’t what to have to do. Until the Blue line is safer and more comfortable to ride, I won’t be happy.

  10. The 456 was cancelled by the RTD after the LACTC demanded it so as to increase ridership on the Blue Line which they ran. Since the LACTC was the counties funding agency, they could demand what ever of the RTD since there was a constant conflict between the two agencies

  11. With just 4 trips a day, peak direction only, the 456 will be of very limited use. I’m trying to think what benefits it might provide:

    1. Faster ride end-to-end: possibly, but highly dependent on traffic and probably not by a large margin (the Blue Line is supposed to be faster than before, too).

    2. Relieve crowding on the Blue Line: somewhat, but the proportion of available seats is not likely to make a big dent.

    3. Access to additional destinations: a few, for example from Long Beach to the Figueroa/USC area. Since I do need to get to that area occasionally I can see myself using this service, but only if the limited hours of operation fit my schedule (otherwise connect to the Blue Line).

    So yes, there is some utility in this service, but I’m guessing not enough to justify the cost. This is an expensive service to provide, because for all 8 trips, bus and driver need to travel empty one way. Since the benefits to passengers are fairly minimal compared to just using the Blue Line, I’d rather see these resources put elsewhere in the system where they can provide more benefit.

    Incidentally, Long Beach Transit in its long term plan was also looking into an express route to DTLA, as part of a broader network of freeway commuter buses. So far they’ve implemented a bus from Long Beach to UCLA (3 peak-direction trips); my understanding is that it’s struggling, and that’s without competition from a frequent, all-day train service. In general, I think it’s best for transit agencies like Metro and LBT to get out of these limited-frequency, peak-direction commuter routes, and leave them to the likes of LADOT Commuter Express.

  12. One additional thought, regarding Mayor Garcia’s comments in the Press Telegram article: The mayor is hoping that the new Blue Line is faster than before. Isn’t this to a large part a responsibility of the City of Long Beach, specifically the street-running section south of Willow? So what is the mayor doing about it?

  13. I and many of the people that I ride the 860 with would prefer to continue riding the bus rather than the train. Most people riding the train are working class and students and it has been wonderful not having to deal with the homeless and the safety problems associated with the train. We would like to have the 860 continue keeping the same schedule, 6 am is too late for many of us and we are forced back on the train. The city wastes money on commuters going to UCLA but won’t invest on a regular for commuters to downtown Los Angeles. I’m fairly sure there are way more passengers traveling to downtown Los Angeles. Other cities such as Lomita, Hawthorne, Torrance, Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes to name a few have commuter buses for their residents. I guess they value the taxpayers more in these other cities. Long Beach has money but they waste it on stupid stuff like painting rainbows on the sidewalk and in my case piano keys in Bixby Knolls.

    • I agree with everything Margie posted except I would have posted some of her words in HARSHER tone… :0

  14. This sucks for reverse commuters (southbound in the AM & northbound in the PM) like me. Even with a 10 minute shorter trip there’s no way the A Line beats the 860 back and forth from Los Angeles to Long Beach. Plus, the 860 has not yet devolved into the rolling homeless shelter that the Blue Line was and the A Line certainly will be. The 860 had been one of the bright spots in the Metro landscape, so I guess it was inevitable that the brain trust at Gateway Plaza would figure out a way to mess it up.

  15. It’s probably time to consider lowering the Silver Line/Streak fares to $1.75 to make it uniform across Metro. I understand that the freeway route has an upcharge but there should be more than enough ExpressLanes toll money to make up the difference and better fare enforcement would also help (people routinely fare evade by boarding via the back door). The current scheme is often inconsistent and often I am charged somewhat randomly. Just a few days ago, I caught Beach Cities Transit ($1) which was a free transfer to the Green Line but then I paid full fare for the Silver Line (all using the same TAP card). It’s better to make it all the same.

  16. As a rider who only uses mass transit for commuting to and from work, I really prefer an Express Service to downtown than a train that makes 20 stops before getting to work. I used to take the Silver Line to work until the Blue line closure and the parking at Harbor Gateway Transit Center became heavily impacted. However, as soon as I began taking the 860 Express service, I felt like Metro had FINALLY started a service that serves the discretionary riders residing in Long Beach. The Express service is safer, faster and more reliable than the Blue Line ever was; and more so than I doubt it will be once it opens… all the new paint, lighting and signage that $350 million bought won’t stop the bottlenecks on LB Blvd and Washington Blvd. It is a tease on behalf of Metro to provide the people of Long Beach a service that finally met our needs only to replace it with a pilot program with only 4 buses that fits the timetable of nobody I know (those who are at work by 9:30 and leave at 7). YOU ALREADY HAD YOUR PILOT
    PROGRAM AND IT WAS THE BELOVED EXPRESS 860!

  17. I agree with Carlita, Margie and Tomas. The 860 shuttle has been the best commute I’ve ever had in a decade of Metro use. I regularly take other Metro lines as part of my commute and personal travels (Red, Purple, Expo, Gold), and the Blue Line is the only one I have ever felt endangered, unsafe, and frequently sexually harassed on. Metro recently released a study on how women travel by public transportation, and how they feel about it:

    https://thesource.metro.net/2019/09/19/metro-releases-understanding-how-women-travel-report/

    Metro, if you know women feel so unsafe on your system, what are you doing about it? Millions were spent on renovating the Blue Line, but what will be done about the safety, cleanliness, etc? Taking the Blue Line over the last decade, I have seen men urinate directly on the seats; hypodermic needles on the floor and seats; people sleeping across both rows with their bodies blocking the aisles so you can’t get by; men masturbating on the platform; brutal fist fights breaking out right next to me, so I have to run away or risk getting caught up in the violence…I have only ever experienced these things on the Blue Line. So until that aspect of the line is regulated and cleaned up, I personally feel a lot safer taking an express bus commuter option. I am traveling early enough in the morning when it is still dark, and after the sun sets. According to the Metro study, this is clearly when female passengers feel the least safe taking public transportation or waiting on platforms. The 860 was also faster for me, and I have not been late to work once these past nine month. With the Blue Line, I was late at least once a week.

    • Totally agree but what about LA to LGB? The 0541 was full every day and now we have been screwed – the alternative would have been an easy fix by adding just one stop in LGB to the Silver line – finally something we love and they yank it

  18. Like John Kerry I’m going to flip-flop on this one. There are many of us who commute between the two cities. I myself travel from 7th metro to 1st station the length of the line. The A line needs an express service anyway. It’s been suggested but consideration is still some time in the future. This can be a good substitution in the mean time. We don’t have to look at it as a class issue. Keeping it only during peak time will serve its purpose. Riding the 860 open my eyes just how many ride all the way to there city limit. This has potential.

  19. The 860 was far more reliable schedule wise than the Blue Line ever was. I also go the entire length of the line and even with bus breakdowns, the 860 got me from one side to the other with far more reliability than the Blue Line ever did. Surprise, surprise, today on the first commute day back on the A line, there are already 20 minute signaling delays. I also share the concerns about safety and cleanliness on the A line. My fellow full length Blue Line commuter and I joked that we’d be back to the smell, the delays, and the group of people selling wares on the line and sure enough they were all there.