Assessment shows NextGen Bus Plan has increased access to Metro bus system

Metro released its first assessment of the NextGen Bus Plan, which shows that the service has delivered a more accessible and competitive service compared with pre-NextGen bus service.

The NextGen Bus Plan was the first restructuring of Metro’s bus network in a generation and the plan called for a network that would be faster, more frequent, more reliable and easier to understand. The new network created through this plan would be capable of supporting growth in overall ridership for the bus system by addressing opportunities to be more competitive at off-peak times and for shorter distance trips.

The plan’s first evaluation compared current bus trip to Metro’s pre-NextGen bus network. Trip data was gathered from anonymized cell phone records and Metro TAP card and ridership data. Among the findings:

The most notable result was a 716% increase in total population, and 614% increase in households, with access to the frequent network of 10 minute or better lines in the weekday midday period between December 2019 (pre-NextGen) and December 2021 (with NextGen). Population in EFCs gained slightly more (721%) than in non-EFCs (708%). Zero car households saw a 415% increase. Frequent service to essential jobs and non- essential jobs increased by 369% and 351% respectively.

Convenient access to the 10 minute or better network during the PM peak period also showed significant gains, up between 28% (non-essential jobs) and 65% for non-EFC population (EFC population increased by 49%).These results support the objective of allocating more service frequencies of 10 minute or better during the weekday midday time period in the NextGen Bus Plan.

  • Through the NextGen Bus Plan, over 2.2 million more people have convenient access to 10 minute or better service midday weekdays, with 1.3 million of these people residing in EFCs. Over 1.1 million more jobs were also accessible through the 10 minute or better service under the NextGen Bus Plan.
  • The NextGen Bus Plan also increased peak period weekday access to 10 minute or better service, with over 900,000 more people overall having convenient access to this network, with just under 500,000 more people in EFCs gaining this access.
  • The same assessment for access to 15 minute or better service saw smaller gains, with midday weekday gains ranging from 38% to 69%, and peak period gains ranging from zero to a high of 4% for the population in EFCs.
  • These results reflect the reality that a greater proportion of lines had 15 minute or better service pre-NextGen, especially during peak periods, though NextGen Bus Plan still provides improved access to the frequent (15 minute or better) network, especially in the midday period.
  • Through the NextGen Bus Plan, over 1.4 million more people have convenient access to 15 minute or better service midday weekdays, with 720,000 of these people residing in EFCs. Over 550,000 million more jobs were also accessible through the 15 minute or better service under the NextGen Bus Plan.•Overall population with access to 15 minute or better peak hour service under the NextGen Bus Plan grew by 65,000 more and almost 72,000 more people in EFCs gaining this access, and 9,000 more jobs being accessible to this frequent network. These smaller numbers reflect the pre-NextGen network having many lines with 15-minute or better peak frequency.•A key measure of the potential for success in attracting new ridership was the Transit Competitiveness Ratio. Trips were considered competitive if the transit travel time was less than 2.5 times the duration of auto travel time. Based on (LBS) data, or cell phone location data, for all trips (including transit), the number of trips with transit competitive travel times < 2.5 times the private auto increased by 2.4% (from 22.1% to 24.5% of all trips) under the NextGen Service Plan. The analysis was also completed for the trips of residents of EFCs where transit competitive trips increased by + 3.3% (from 26.2% to 29.3% of all trips).•This equates to over 580,000 extra trips that were transit competitive using the NextGen Bus Plan network, with 240,000 of these trips being for residents of EFCs. More details can be seen in Tables

For more information on the NextGen Bus Plan visit


“The NextGen Bus Plan has been a real game-changer for our region as we strive to improve the frequency and reliability of our transit system through innovative approaches that bring results,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “This has been a top priority of mine and our entire Board. The results speak volumes about our success in making our bus network the best that it can be.”

“The NextGen Bus Plan has been successful in improving access to jobs and key destinations like grocery stores, educational institutions, parks and medical centers,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We are pleased with the results of this report that show NextGen is delivering faster, more frequent, and more competitive service to our bus riders, who make up nearly 80 percent of our customers.”

5 replies

  1. Breaking news: Metro report says Metro program a success! Who saw that coming? “716% increase in total population” – not counting the express buses running before. That’s deliberate misinformation which is also called a lie. Is this what we’ve lowered ourselves to Metro?

  2. Bring back the Rapids! You didn’t eliminate any stops on some lines, yet took away their Rapids, resulting in very long travel times on your busiest routes like Western Av and Santa Monica Blvd. The Rapids were a success and you’ve eliminated them from all but 2 corridors, you non-transit riding bureaucrats.

  3. The next gen bus plan is inadequate. Many local buses will still run at 30 minute intervals or more outside of peak hours (and some even at peak hours). The 501 express (which is the only somewhat efficient transit route between the san fernando and san gabriel valleys) will stop running after 9 pm and still have 30 + minute headways during non peak hours and on weekends, and the J line silver san pedro leg also will stop running after 9pm as well, with 30 to 40 minute non peak headways to boot.

    If you want to encourage more bus ridership, maybe start by not having people wait as long for the bus as their actual ride is often going to be. Long headways increases total trip time and is especially detrimental when making transfers for said total trip time, causing people to just drive instead, if they have a car. It seems like you guys (metro decision-makers) still don’t seem to really understand or particularly care about this. Its one thing if this is temporary while theres a driver shortage, but long term, this isnt sufficient service. There needs to be a goal / policy of 15 minute all-day service, 7 days a week on buses running on major boulevards (and all BRT or express type lines). The 240 for example runs decent headways during the day now, but then after 8 pm or so, the frequency drops off to 25-30 minute headways. Ventura blvd. is the wilshire of the valley. Service should always be 15 minutes or better until midnight or so. Same for Sepulveda. La Brea, etc. and it needs to be a fixed policy so people can trust that you guys aren’t just gonna change it in 6 months in the usual “service shakeup”. People need a dependable, consistent system that they can work into their lives without thinking about it too much. This isn’t that.

  4. Bring back rail service to pre pandemic levels! Late night Friday and Saturday!!!!