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 https://www.metro.net/about/plans/nextgen-bus-plan/.
“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.”