Tucked away at the end of last week’s City Council meeting was an update on the Dodger Shuttle, the city-provided bus service to Dodger Stadium that ran for the second half of the baseball season and the playoffs. In brief, the program was an overwhelming success. Transporting over 700 riders each way, the program averaged 1,406 total boardings per game.
However, as often happens with transit programs, success breeds funding problems. In this case, the need for more shuttles, and the Dodgers playoff run, ballooned the cost to the city, which provided the shuttles for free with no financial support from the Dodgers, from $70,000 to $150,000. The cost of providing the shuttles for next season, even taking into account the new proposed fare of $3 for a round trip ticket is over $380,000.
For at least one City Councilman, that cost may be too high. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who was very critical of the Dodgers for not ponying up some funds for the pilot project this season, pressed the LADOT on Friday on whether the Dodgers were going to be any more giving next season, the answer? Not likely.
With Downtown Businesses taking a lead by funding more the extended hours for DASH and Metro trains on weekends, the likelihood that the shuttle will continue during a budget crisis is somewhat dimmed. With all of the public relations surrounding the launch of the shuttle, it’s unlikely that the city would just let it fall to the wayside completely, but to have the transit service that the city needs it will probably involve some investment from the Trolley Dodgers, an investment beyond writing press releases and designing a trolley logo.
Photo: Los Angeles Streetsblog "Elected Leaders" Photostream