COVID-19 update and Metro News; July 19, 2021

With COVID-19 cases again rising in Los Angeles County, a new health order took effect over the weekend requiring that all people wear face masks indoors. A few reminders:

•As has been the case since May 2020, Metro and other transit agencies continue to require riders to wear face masks when on our system and at stations and facilities (except for those with a medical excuse).

•Face mask dispensers have been installed across the Metro system for those who need a mask or forgot theirs.

•Please consider getting vaccinated! It’s free and easy with vaccination sites at seven Metro stations, including Union Station. All the info is here. Through July 15, almost 70 percent of those 16 and up had at least one shot in L.A. County.

•For those who have not ridden the system in a while, front door boarding on Metro buses resumed on June 27.

•Fares are not being collected on buses but we’re asking riders to tap at validators at Metro Rail stations.

•On June 27, we also launched the second phase of NextGen, our effort to restructure Metro’s vast bus system. That means more frequent service on many of our busiest bus routes:

–The following lines will have additional trip(s) Weekdays, Saturdays AND on Sundays: 2, 4, 14, 16, 18, 20, 28, 30, 33, 37, 40, 45, 51, 53, 60, 66, 70, 78, 79, 81, 90, 96, 106, 108, 125, 127, 128, 152, 155, 158, 161, 162, 164, 165, 166, 180, 182, 200, 204, 205, 207, 210, 212, 217, 218, 222, 224, 232, 233, 234, 236, 240, 244, 251, 256, 260, 266, 287, 294, 501, 603, 605,617, 662, 665, 690, 720, 754, 761, G Line (Orange)

–WEEKDAYS, the following lines will have additional trip(s): 62, 92, 94, 105, 110, 111, 117, 130, 154, 169, 202, 230, 242, 243, 265, 267, 268, 487, 489, 577, 704, 854, J Line (Silver)

–SATURDAYS, the following lines have additional trips(s): 115, 230, 242, 243

–SUNDAYS, the following lines have additional trips(s): 105

–The following lines have no route changes, ONLY bus stop consolidation: 35, 38, 48, 55, 92,164, 165, 460

•Based on feedback from the changes on June 27, we made further adjustments to Lines 152, 222 and 236 to better connect to the rest of the bus system, in addition to adding Metro Micro service along the area around Silver Lake Boulevard. More info and maps at this Source post.

•Also on June 27, Metro Micro — Metro’s shared ride on-demand service — launched in two more areas: Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glendale and Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre. Metro Micro is now in eight areas around L.A. County and introductory fares this year are $1. The service is a good way to travel to and from the Metro system or make short trips. More info on how to summon a ride at this Source post.

•We’re aware that the service changes did not go as smoothly as we would have liked, and customers were inconvenienced. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins made clear her expectations for a customer-first approach in remarks to the Metro Board’s Operations Committee last week (webstream of that meeting is here, Stephanie begins at 24:00) and she provided her vision for a more customer-centric focus for the agency in her State of the Agency remarks on July 7 (video here; Stephanie begins at 35:07).

•For those who like to keep track, Metro’s ridership continued to climb in June — we were at about 57 percent of the ridership prior to the pandemic with average weekday boardings at 678,432. Not surprising, given that California’s economy reopened completely in mid-June and life is getting back to normal.

•The Giants and Dodgers begin a four-game series tonight at Dodger Stadium with the Giants sitting one game ahead in the NL West as of this morning. My hunch is the standings will look different by late Thursday night. With big crowds expected at each game, the Dodger Stadium Express from Harbor Gateway and Union Station is a good way to duck some traffic. All the details on how to ride are here.

•Good project update and views…

•A great sign that some normalcy is upon us: the public piano at Union Station is back in business. I had the chance to watch the pianists recruited by Metro Art Presents give the piano a recent test drive — some extremely impressive playing.

Note to readers and editors: Metro Operators are crucial to keeping LA moving. Metro is currently hiring more than 500 bus operators and is offering a $1,000 bonus for coming aboard. This is a great career opportunity. Metro offers competitive hourly rates starting at $17.75 for part-time bus operators and benefits include health insurance, tuition reimbursements, paid training, retirement plan options and part-time flexible hours. Please encourage friends, family and community members to become a part of the Metro team that provides excellence in service and support and keeps our region moving. Apply at

In the news…

•L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti recently toured the Gold Line extension to Pomona project and said he would continue to seek funding to get the line to Claremont and Montclair, reports the Daily Bulletin. The project is under construction and will provide a good alternative to sitting at a standstill on the oft-clogged 210 freeway.

•On the subject of traffic, the Gotham Metro Area, Boston and Houston managed to have more time-munching congestion than L.A. last year, so says the Texas Transportation Institute. See chart below. The significance: Our region is rarely knocked off the traffic podium but last year was, as you know, a strange one.

Memo to region: let’s not reclaim the title next year — please consider replacing some car trips with transit, walking or biking. In many parts of town, it’s actually do-able. 

Smart article at Citylab on declines in public transit use in many parts of America over the last 50 years. One culprit: transportation and housing policy not being linked.


5 replies

  1. “L.A. Mayor and Metro Board Member Eric Garcetti recently toured the Gold Line extension to Pomona project”
    Shouldn’t this be “the L (Gold) Line extension”? And this also begs the question, Based upon the current timelines won’t the Regional Connector project complete be the time that the first section of this extension opens? So shouldn’t this project be retitled “A (Blue) Line extension to Pomona project”?

    • Hi Just a Person;

      I plead sort of guilty. In Metro parlance, it’s the L Line. In construction authority parlance, it’s Foothill Gold Line. So take your pick for time being.

      As for other point, way back in days of yore the Gold Line was planned as extension of Blue Line. That didn’t happen and Gold Line was built from Union Station to the SGV, leaving the gap the Connector will fill. Since the extensions to Azusa and now Pomona began while L/Gold Line was its own thing, I’m personally fine with calling it by its current name.

      Like so many other things in this life, I suppose history will be the ultimate judge. 🙂

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Most bus passengers are wearing face masks, in accordance with the law. On Metro subway trains and light rail trains, compliance with the law is more like 50%. Metro is not bothering to enforce the face mask law. DO YOUR JOB. MAKE ALL PASSENGERS, ESPECIALLY TRAIN PASSENGERS WEAR FACE MASKS. FORCE THE POLICE AGENCIES AND SECURITY COMPANIES WHOM YOU PAY OUR MONEY TO TO ENFORCE THE LAW.

  3. The Dodger Express was an absolute failure Monday night. 30 minute headways after the game. Never again.

  4. In regards to additional buses on the Silver Line. I am trying to ease my way back to taking the Silver Line to work. The buses are not so crowded in the morning but, I’ve had to wait for long periods of time for buses after 5:30 pm. Is Metro adding buses to the south bound evening commute?