Metro ridership was up 12 percent in 2022 over prior year

Metro announced today a 12 percent increase in transit ridership compared to a year ago. There were 255 million boardings in 2022, surpassing the 227 million in 2021.

“During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Metro’s riders disappeared, and stayed away for most of the epidemic. As we saw Angelenos return to their pre-pandemic lives last year, Metro is working diligently to restore the level of service for those who depend on transit to get where they need to be to see riders come back on our county’s buses and rail lines as a result,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian.

Over the past year, Metro invested in several programs and projects to improve bus and rail services, to better help hundreds of thousands of riders while emphasizing women, families, and communities where Metro’s services are needed the most. As a result of these investments, bus ridership increased by 10 percent, and rail ridership was up almost 20 percent.

One program that contributed to these increases is the NextGen Bus plan, which results from a reimagined bus system that focuses on providing fast, frequent, reliable, and accessible services to meet the needs of today’s riders. Metro riders now experience an increase in the frequency of buses on key routes, making access to essential spots such as grocery stores, schools, parks, and medical centers more readily available. There are now 1.1 million jobs accessible through frequent bus services with 10-minute or better intervals, representing a 350 percent improvement over pre-pandemic services.

According to an October 2022 Customer Experience survey, 75 percent of Metro’s riders are from low-income households. Metro has expanded its Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) and GoPass pilot programs to make fares more affordable.

The Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program offers fare discounts that can be applied toward the purchase of weekly and monthly transit passes on Metro and any LIFE program participating transit agencies or 20 free rides on any of the participating transit agencies.

Metro’s GoPass pilot program offers access to free transit for more than one million K-12 and community college students in LA County. In 2022, Metro delivered more than 10 million rides to LIFE program holders and more than 11.7 million rides to GoPass holders.

“Metro is better serving the diverse communities that rely on public transportation to access education, employment, healthcare, and other essential services,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “We’re just beginning to see the fruits of our efforts to restore ridership as riders feel more confident and comfortable using public transportation to get where they need to go.”

As a part of its vision to become the first transportation choice for Angelenos and visitors, Metro is making investments in improving customers’ experience aboard Metro – and that includes safety. Metro last year introduced a human-centered Reimagined Public Safety plan that considered the feedback and recommendations of Metro employees, customers and stakeholders. The plan uses a multi-layered approach to improve security, customer care and cleanliness. Metro security staff and law enforcement partners improve security, address code of conduct, and penal code violations.

Metro’s new Metro Ambassador pilot program provides visible unarmed presence on the system to support customers throughout their journey, connect those who need it to resources and report any issues they might see on the system. More than 240 Metro Ambassadors are trained and deployed across some segments of the Metro system, and it is expected that 300 Ambassadors will be trained by the end of March. On the cleanliness front, Metro has invested in more frequent cleaning of vehicles and stations and, in the past six months, has replaced 68 percent of the buses and 89 percent of rail cars with vinyl seats that are more comfortable and easier to clean and maintain.

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7 replies

  1. But subway ridership is way down. Metro subways have turned into crime ridden and drug infested hell holes. No regular commuters want to ride them anymore. I am not wrong. Studies show ridership on the subway lines is way down and office workers in downtown are avoiding the subways because of how disgusting they are.

  2. Perharps the Next Generation Bus Plan changes has already involved as service cuts using coverage some are discontinued (example: Line 176) and some are duplicated with other transportation agencies bus lines that served on Floral Drive for sample due to reduced ridership on the areas that don’t serve those areas with not enough riders onboarding. Hopefully Metro need address the issues for try again in 2025-2026 service changes shakeup or if not there is no options. I am not trying to make underwhelming and wrongdoing or complained so this is remind that in New York City with confusion, stress, inconvenient seat rides, time wasting, other reasons and public safety concerns because the transit bureacrats decided same goes to LA Metro. Maybe around on later date I will tried to ride on Line 258 once again basically I willing to see how the ridership on Floral Drive and Eastern Ave then I will comment on this blog since I was used to rode on Line 258 before without serving on Floral and Eastern back then.

  3. I’m sure the MTA abandoned many students under the Next Gen changes like they did to students who attend Ivanhoe Elementary School, King Middle School and Marshall High School who live along the Silverlake corridors along Hyperian Ave and West Silverlake Drive. Both of these corridors were served by bus service since before WW2 with heavy student ridership in the morning and after-noon primarily. I attended both King and Marshall as a teen and monitored the Service as a RTD/MTA Road Supervisor and can attest to the packed bus. Two buses were assigned as School Trippers for both schools both in the AM and PM. There is no alternative service except to walk. Apparently the MTA amateurs care more about loosing four regular bus trippers for a couple of hours than the learning disability caused by students who arrive at school exhausted from their long walk either around the foothills or over them. This is addition to your regular riders who do not own a vehicle and relied on the MTA to either get to work or commute to their doctors and shopping.

    • The ridership data (founded on the NextGen site) from October 2019, former Line 175 had 150 boardings east to Sanborn/Sunset & 448 boardings west to Hollywood at the John Marshall stop. Most of the student ridership drop offs are at Vermont/Sunset Station & Sanborn/Sunset. I looked the ridership data on Hyperion, and apparently almost no pickups. Although, there were drop offs, but it was really low with only like 5-10 riders. The rest (120-130) drop off at the old Line 175 terminal at Sanborn/Sunset. Even though Line 182 is a great route from NELA to Hollywood, I would like to see Line 182 extend from Vermont/Sunset to King Middle School & Sanborn/Sunset via Fountain Av during school-term trips. I would also like to reroute Line 182 via Franklin, Virgil, Prospect & Vermont, so it can provide ridership increase. DASH could be a good replacement on Hyperion though, but I don’t want DASH taking away the ridership from Line 182.

      The West Silver Lake Bl alignment of the 201, the ridership was brutally low with most the stops barely had up to 5 boardings with half of them had no activity (even pre-pandemic) days.

      The issue wasn’t because of the frequency (yes, I’m aware this might be an issue, but who on earth would run a a frequent regional bus route on a narrow & residential street), but it was also because the travel demand. There could’ve been an opportunity for DASH to cover the old Line 201 on Silver Lake by making a loop and cover at important destinations such as B Line, John Marshall, or even LACC. Too bad it never happened. There could’ve also been an opportunity for Glendale Beeline to cover partially or entirely of Line 201, though it was out of their region. Well, at least we have Micro covering the majority of Line 201.

    • Hi Matthew;

      We were at about 1.2 million boardings per month pre-COVID (late 2019 and early 2020). Ridership in recent months has ranged from about 65 to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source