As we continue to welcome back more riders to Metro, we are initiating a pilot program called “Respect the Ride,” which began Monday, April 4.
The idea is simple: we’re working to improve safety and the customer experience on the Metro system. As part of Respect the Ride, we’re deploying a variety of staff to help riders, identify and resolve problems more quickly and make Metro a more welcoming experience for everyone.
Our specific goals are:
•Help riders navigate the Metro system, pay fares and get discounted fares (See this post on our current fare discounts). Although Metro resumed fare collection on buses earlier this year, our current crop of discounts will help all riders potentially save money.
•We also have staff on hand to help riders use the Transit app — Metro’s official app — to plan transit trips and get real-time arrival estimates for buses and trains.
•We’re also adding more custodians to keep our stations as clean as possible, especially the high-touch areas.
•Through staff, signage and announcements, we’re reminding everyone of good transit etiquette and that we do have a Code of Conduct designed to make riding a pleasant experience for all.
•We’re working closely with our own security staff and our law enforcement partners — the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Long Beach Police Department — to ensure our bus and rail system is well patrolled, and is there to help when riders need it.
•We’re continuing to use our homeless outreach staff to connect unhoused riders with social services and housing. More on this below.
As many of you know, homelessness has been a serious regional issue for years — and one that has certainly impacted Metro. And the pandemic didn’t help. A lack of available shelter and other interim housing resulted in an increase in unhoused individuals seeking shelter on our system.
Metro has been taking the problem seriously — and has been working with the nonprofit organization PATH to provide outreach on our system. As the homelessness issue has deepened, the Metro Board of Directors in 2021 approved spending $5 million annually for more outreach, case management and temporary housing for unhoused riders.
We’ve made some progress. More than 400 unhoused riders have been connected to emergency, interim and permanent housing placements since last July. Our teams at 7th/Metro have helped place 96 people in permanent supportive housing since January.
Thoughts, riders? What did you think of our Respect the Ride efforts? Any suggestions? Leave a comment please.