Metro to take additional time on Traffic Reduction Study to analyze mobility data and commuting patterns

As those who follow our agency may know, Metro has been studying if, where, and how congestion pricing (i.e., tolls) could be tested in our region to reduce gridlock and offer better mobility options to everyone.

The Traffic Reduction Study began in 2020 with listening sessions with elected officials, local government agencies, community representatives and customers. In 2021, Metro introduced early concept areas to the public and began its initial technical evaluation.

On January 22, 2022, a post on Metro’s The Source blog stated that Metro would host virtual public meetings in February. However, no official notices or invites have been issued for meetings because Metro is taking additional time to understand the impact of the pandemic on mobility patterns and other data used in the Traffic Reduction Study.

The extended duration of the coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted how people commute. Over the past two years, employers have relaxed requirements for in-person working, reducing the need for employees to commute daily. The decline in commercial office space occupancy likely won’t soon return to pre-pandemic levels. And high turnover in the job market has led to shifts in traffic patterns, congestion areas, and schedules. A number of these changes could become permanent as we emerge from the pandemic.

Our team is analyzing these factors and reviewing existing data to ensure the study findings reflect current and future trends. We’re also identifying types of transportation investments, low-income assistance programs, and other strategies that will make a successful and equitable pilot program.

While we have shared information on some early concepts, we are far from done collecting, analyzing and gathering public input. To that end, we plan to schedule public meetings for later in 2022. In the meantime, Metro will continue to publicly share updates periodically and gather input from customers and other stakeholders about their transportation needs.

We anticipate submitting a pilot program and implementation plan to the Metro Board for approval in 2023. If approved, Metro and partners will begin design and implementation of the pilot program for an anticipated launch in 2026.

Please stay tuned to The Source and Metro’s Twitter stream and Facebook page for more news on this project in the coming months.



2 replies

  1. Last Friday, four seniors and I sat in the very warm sun at Colorado Blvd and Fair Oaks Avenue waiting for a 660 bus north. One person stood directly under the bus stop sign; the rest of us sat on the bus benches. After several 260 buses arrived to discharge passengers, a 660 approached, but did not stop. We watched in disbelief as it continued north. It hadn’t displayed a “Not in Service” message, nor did it turn onto another street or onto the freeway. About thirty minutes later, after several more discharging 260 buses had come and gone, another 660 bus arrived and stopped. I saw the operator fumble with his face mask as if he might have been just putting it on. (The mask did not resemble any of the currently recommended N95 types.) I exited the bus one stop before my old, now canceled bus stop and hiked uphill with my packages, that included previously cold and frozen items. Soon after I arrived home, I called Metro’s Customer Relations to report what had happened.

    The 660 shuttle recently replaced the 260 north of Colorado Blvd. Its route is short and the buses are supposedly new, so it should be relatively trouble-free. But that’s not the case. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve experienced waits longer than an hour, a bus whose interior smelled of cannabis smoke, operators without face masks, and a delay due to a malfunctioning wheelchair ramp. Metro needs to master its core business.