Metro experiencing some service impacts due to staff shortages

Due to lingering effects from the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our region and a national labor shortage, we’re experiencing impacts on our bus and rail service. We’ve had to cancel some bus trips in recent days and we want to give riders a heads up that may continue to be an issue in the days ahead — although we’re working hard to eliminate such disruptions to our service. Other transit agencies around the region are experiencing similar challenges.

We very much appreciate your patience during this time and we realize how many of you rely on Metro to get you where you need to go.

As was the case during last winter’s COVID-19 surge, the canceled trips on Metro are not evenly distributed around our transit system. On some days certain parts of our bus system have been hit harder than others — and some bus lines are impacted more than others. We understand how disruptive a canceled trip can be — and that a canceled trip or two on any bus line often results in crowding on subsequent trips on that line.

We encourage riders to use Transit — Metro’s official smartphone app — to plan bus and rail trips and check crowding predictions. We also suggest allowing additional time for your travel and following the Metro service alerts feed on Twitter.

On Sept. 12, we returned to our full pre-pandemic levels of bus service to help riders make essential trips. We very much intend to stay the course with so many employees returning to work and students back in schools.

16 replies

  1. I sincerely suggest that, well ahead of the fare collection resumption date of Jan 10, 2022 for buses, please put notice (i.e., a letter size sticker) at the front door of each bus, letting riders know about that date.

    This is an old school method that actually works!

    • Hi Jason;

      Thanks for the good suggestion! There is going to be a considerable signage and online campaign ahead of Jan. 10. A lot of the work is already well underway.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Is the Transit app saying which buses are cancelled? Google Maps wasn’t doing it last week, but it seems it’s doing so now (at least, with the BBB in Santa Monica).

  3. If all the pre-pandemic service levels were restored by September 12, and so many lines are still running short of the NextGen promises (scheduled runs, not necessarily the issue with the labor shortage), then does that mean that there will be a lot of cuts elsewhere to finish implementing the remaining NextGen promises, like owl service on the 260? NextGen’s plan also states that afternoon peak service would end at 7pm, evening service at 12am, and owl service starts at midnight. However, it looks more like hourly owl service starts as early as 9pm. Any information about how extra revenue hours can be found to fulfill the NextGen promises would be appreciated, or will the number of revenue hours actually exceed pre-pandemic levels by December 2021?

  4. Has the MTA considered asking back retirees on a temporary basis who are already trained to operate a bus?

  5. COMPLAINT…This past Saturday around 3pm boarded bus #180 from Hollywood going east to Glendale. Front/top of bus said it was on detour. Didn’t think my relatively short trip would be rerouted not far from where I started.

    Driver went across Hollywood Blvd and up Vermont but instead of continuing to Los Feliz Blvd and turning going east she turned before that on Franklin and began this long arduous route through side streets past John Marshall school. Got up and asked her what was going on..She did not know. It was her first time on that route. Well, finally over 1/2 hour later she arrived at Riverside and turned towards Los Feliz Blvd. And sure enough CARS were driving along as though nothing was going on. And when I pointed this out she said “must be locals” traveling…Really?

    Realized that my return trip would be as long I aborted my travel and destination and got off the bus..And began the long walk uphill on Los Feliz towards Vermont and back to where I came from..On the way noticed a #180 bus traveling in my direction. And another bus on opposite side with passengers going east in the direction of Glendale..What the heck was going on? Thought perhaps METRO restored regular service so I WAITED and WAITED at next stop for a bus to arrive..NO WAY, JOSE.. ..As I continued along noticed road dust and figured repairs were happening..perhaps at Vermont..

    Bottom line: It behooves me to understand why METRO would tell driver to take Franklin and a circuitous route instead of going up HILLHURST to Los Feliz and continuing on from there..NO reason for taking this long and winding road only to find out that CARS were traveling all along on this stretch.. If they were able to maneuver so could the bus..

    • If the incident was east of Hillhurst the detour route the bus operator could have taken was past Marshall High School

    • Hi Joanne;

      I will let Customer Care and Operations know. I don’t know of any planned detours this past Saturday on the 180. Thank you letting us know and our apologies for the inconvenience.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Hey, Steve: Thanks for your response. The driver had no idea why she was detoured along Franklin through circuitous side streets finally ending up a Riverside and Los Feliz because it was her first time on that route.

        As said in above post..When we arrived there over 30 mins later and saw cars traveling along this stretch I realized there was no need to go so out of the way.. And decided not continue to destination as the return trip would be just as long..Got off and backtracked on Los Feliz towards Hillhurst and saw the 180 with passengers going in both directions and road dust from work.

        BTW: If Vermont/Los Feliz access was closed due to repairs driver should have been told by a dispatcher to turn on Franklin to Hillhurst (one block away) and then go up Hillhurst to Los Feliz and back on regular route.. This is on METRO. They did not know what was going on either.

        • Hey Joanne —

          Got some info back and you’ll be hearing from our Customer Care, too. Gist of it — there was a last-second detour on Vermont on Saturday morning due to a construction project. Looks like that same detour will be in effect between 6am and 6pm this weekend. I’ll send your feedback on the routing to our bus team. Again, thanks for the detailed info and for letting us know about this.

          Steve Hymon
          Editor, The Source

  6. The draconian vaccine mandates are ruining Metro and the lives of employees. Our hero Metro drivers are being canceled because of their personal medical choices.

    • What is the source of your information that MTA has a Covid vaccine mandate for its operators and that operators are being “canceled” for noncompliance?

      • Hi Sellers;

        Metro staff are required to be vaccinated by Nov. 1.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source