Metro Tips Its Hand on Endangered Bus Lines
Metro doesn’t usually do major changes to its bus service for contractual reasons with the bus driver’s union except for twice a year. The next time major changes, including some line eliminations or service scale backs isn’t due to be until the winter. But that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start figuring out which lines are most likely to be cut back or eliminated.
Following up on yesterday’s report on Metro’s Blue Ribbon Committee, another report to the Board’s operations committee lists some of Metro’s worst performing bus lines. While this list is looking at total average boardings, and doesn’t break down the lines performance based on time of day, it gives a snapshot of what lines might be due for "restructuring" this winter.
Metro staff explains what ridership numbers are so low as to constitute "poor perfoming lines":
Our most productive bus lines average over 60 Boardings per Revenue Hour and our least productive bus lines average less than 20 Boardings per Revenue Hour. Reasons for the disparity in performance include the design of the bus line, population density near the bus line, nearby major generators, and competition from other bus lines.
The above listed lines are undergoing a "detailed evaluation" with "major adjustments" being promised. If you see a favored bus line on the list, and it doesn’t duplicate an existing municipal service, it might be time to start readying arguments on why the line is essential. Or, start bringing friends and family with you on bus trips.
The full report can be found under item 5 on this agenda.