Metro to Fully Restore Transit Service December 11

Metro bus - photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog
Metro bus - photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

At the Metro board Operations Committee meeting last week, staff outlined the agency’s plan [staff report] to fully restore transit service to pre-pandemic levels. The service restoration will take place Sunday December 11.

In wonky statistics, Metro is currently operating 6.7 million annualized “revenue service hours,” down from 7 million RSH annually prior to COVID.

Early on in the pandemic, Metro slashed transit service by 20 percent. The board mandated (and approved funding for) fully restoring transit service as of July 2021. Then a partially self-inflicted bus operator shortage pushed that service restoration back from July to October. That month, Metro scheduled service matching pre-pandemic levels, but then failed to deliver the scheduled service. The agency was canceling upwards of ten percent of bus runs, resulting in inadequate and unpredictable service for riders, and excessive overtime (“ordered call backs”) for bus operators. In February, Metro again cut service by 10-12 percent – pegging it back to a level the agency could mostly deliver. Excessive bus cancellation numbers were reduced, but still hovered around three to five percent – well above the one percent that the agency experienced pre-pandemic. In June and October, Metro gradually restored some bus service, which currently operates at about 96 percent of the pre-COVID levels.

Metro operator staffing
Metro still has an operator shortage, but the shortfall is decreasing – chart via Metro presentation

The biggest factor in service restoration appears to have been Metro raising bus operator salaries, approved in August. The operator shortage isn’t over, but recruiting efforts have been increasingly successful.

Metro transit ridership recovered from July through October, when the system saw a COVID era high. Other indicators are also mostly trending positively. Slide via Metro presentation

Trends – ridership, overtime, cancellations – have been heading in the right direction for the past few months. In October, overall Metro weekday ridership rose to just above 870,000. This is the highest month since the pandemic began, though it represents about 73 percent of pre-pandemic ridership.

Hopefully rising L.A. County COVID cases won’t put a dent in the recovery trends.

Metro service restoration
Next month, Metro will fully restore transit service cut in 2020. Slide via Metro presentation

On December 12, Metro will restore the remaining service deficit, including some additional routing changes – in the harbor area and to connect with the newly opened K Line. Riders will see increased weekday service on 55 Metro bus lines. Two dozen lines will see weekend service increased. See Metro’s listing for line by line changes.


Metro in 2010: More Rail, BRT and Highways. Less Bus Service

Photo: Marco Siguenza/Flickr Even with Measure R, not even Metro is immune to bus service cuts. At 2:30 this afternoon, Metro will hold its public hearing on the staff-proposed 2010 budget.  The budget will also be heard at next week’s Full Board Meeting before being voted on.  The budget doesn’t contain a lot of surprises, […]

TAP Coming to LADOT Bus Services

Friday I was riding on the DASH Fairfax route when I noticed it had a message printed on a paper bag sitting on the dashboard announcing that the Transit Access Pass (TAP) is coming to L.A. Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) bus services (DASH and Commuter Express) in June.  The LADOT website also has a frequently […]

Cut or Restore? Metro Bus Service Changes for June 2011

(In advance of the kickoff of tonight’s hearings on Metro’s bus cut hearings, Faramarz Nabavi was nice enough to send along some very well researched comments on behalf of The Transit Coalition.  If you care about bus cuts, take a moment to sit down and read through. – DN) In preparation for the June 2011 […]

Metro Budget Planning Document Contains Some Revelations

As Metro prepares its budget for the forthcoming 2012 fiscal year (which commences July 1) certain assumptions underlie the numbers. These budget planning parameters are outlined in a document being presented to the Metro Board Finance and Budget Committee on Wednesday March 16th. Here are a few of the revelatory highlights of the assumptions: * […]