Eyes on the Bus: All-Door Boarding Coming to Vermont Rapid Bus Line this Month

Spotted last week on the Vermont Rapid - all-door boarding on the way. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Spotted last week on the Vermont Rapid - all-door boarding on the way. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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Streetsblog spotted the above TAP card reader on the Vermont Avenue Rapid bus last week. It states that all-door boarding will start on June 24, a week from this Sunday.

After a very limited pilot in 2015, Metro implemented all-door boarding on the Metro Silver Line BRT in 2016. In February, 2017, the board approved a motion by director Jacqueline Dupont-Walker. This set the stage for the October, 2017, Metro board approval of implementing all-door boarding on two more lines. The Vermont Avenue Rapid bus (line 754) was approved for all-door boarding starting June, 2018. The Wilshire Boulevard Rapid (line 754) was approved for all-door boarding starting this December.

I am torn between “Hooray! More please.” and “What took you so long?”

At this rate, say, three lines in about three years, riders can perhaps expect all door boarding to spread throughout Metro’s lines in a few decades.

San Francisco does all-door boarding on all its bus lines. Boston plans to have it systemwide by 2020.

Maybe it is part of Metro’s NextGen bus study? Though the last time Metro studied bus optimization, they kicked the study around for a year before shelving it with no changes implemented.

Maybe all-door boarding should have been part of Metro’s 28 by 28 acceleration initiative to get projects ready for the Olympics? Maybe international visitors will just shake their heads wondering why they are waiting in long lines at the front doors of Metro buses.

At a time when Metro is spending billions building freeways and rail systems, it is frustrating when low-cost bus improvements languish. And in this case, it is arguably even cheaper than “low cost.” Metro staff estimate that all-door boarding will save the agency money, essentially paying for itself.

I am really looking forward to boarding on the back door on the Vermont Rapid – a line I ride a couple of times each week. Hooray! Kudos to Metro for making this happen. And please expand this needed feature to more lines, as soon as possible.

  • Richard

    Why do the Rapid routes accept cash anyway? It slows them down immensely.

  • Mehmet Berker

    I’ve been seeing these on the 704 for the past three months. The drivers have no idea what’s going on, and I’m confused too — if they’re only gonna be on the 754 this June, does that mean the RAPID buses I’ve seen with the TAP readers on other lines will all be transferred to only serve the 754? That doesn’t make sense and isn’t how the buses are used now, right? If the buses move between lines anyways (which is what Metro apparently wants so bad it’s willing to sacrifice center-running BRT) — why not, to my normal gripe, just do TAP readers in all RAPID buses at once?

  • 1976boy

    Just do this on ALL buses. Jeez, it’s not that complicated. I’m guessing that they are afraid that a lot of people will just not pay at all. And they might be right. I’m not convinced that should be a deal breaker though. Most people are honest.

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