LA Metro continues efforts to make transport more affordable

Posted: 20 July 2022 | | No comments yet

As part of its efforts to make its transit services more accessible, LA Metro has extended its half-price transit pass discount programme from July to 31 December 2022.

LA Metro continues efforts to make transport more affordable

Credit: LA Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced that it has extended its half-price transit pass discount programme from July to December 2022 to improve access to its services by providing additional economic relief for Metro transit customers.

Metro’s regular 1-Day, 7-Day and 30-Day passes have been discounted 50 per cent since January 2022 in the agency’s efforts to help its riders, many of whom are essential workers and have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 related economic losses. Customers can also pay for one-way, individual fares, but these fares will not be offered at the half-price discounted rate.

“We fully recognise that our Metro riders continue to require financial assistance as they try to recover from the effects of this lingering pandemic,” said Glendale City Councilmember and Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian. “With gas prices just now retreating from all-time highs, it remains imperative that we offer everyone a highly affordable transit alternative as we continue to explore new ways to save our customers fare money over the long-term.”

Metro decided to adjust permanent full-fare pass prices to promote affordability and incentivise customers to purchase unlimited-use passes. Staff will use the information gathered during the promotional period to develop recommendations for pricing options for future full-price passes that include break-even points that are more in line with industry standards and are financially sustainable for current and future Metro Transit operations.

Does eliminating fares make public transport more equitable?

Metro’s half-price passes have the added benefit of encouraging customers to use their TAP card as their fare payment instead of cash. Customers that pay with TAP cards also benefit from free Metro transfers, access to discounted fares and balance protection.

Since Metro launched its half-price pass promotion last January, the passes have become increasingly popular. Nearly 50 per cent of Metro riders using TAP are now choosing to buy passes, compared to just 25 per cent purchasing passes back in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We remain focused on our goal to make Metro the first choice for transportation in and around Los Angeles, which means we need to keep it accessible and remove barriers to entry, while taking steps to better understand the needs of our customers,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “The extension of the discount pass programme allows us to continue to grow our ridership by offering equitable access, while also supporting development of our strategies to deliver public transit services that exceed our customers’ expectations.”