LA Metro achieves post-pandemic record with 10% ridership increase
LA Metro experiences a record-breaking rebound in public transit ridership with a 10% surge in April 2023, signalling a positive turning point from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: LA Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) has announced that it has reported a significant increase in ridership for the month of April 2023. With over 23.4 million rides delivered, the system experienced a 10% rise compared to the same period in 2022, marking the highest ridership level since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
LA Metro’s bus, rail and micro-transit system recorded an average of 880,000 weekday riders, demonstrating the community’s growing confidence in public transportation.
“It’s encouraging to see so many people coming back to Metro after a tough pandemic period for ridership,” said Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair Ara J. Najarian. “We’ve taken bold steps to improve system safety and the customer experience over the past year, and I think people are starting to see the results of those investments.”
During April 2023, LA Metro buses provided more than 18.2 million rides, while the rail system served almost 5.2 million riders. Notably, weekend ridership experienced a 14% increase year over year, reaching 88% of its pre-pandemic level in April 2019.
“While remote work continues to depress our weekday ridership, I’m pleased that we’ve recovered nearly 90% of our pre-pandemic ridership on the weekends,” said Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of LA Metro. “People are continuing to choose Metro for their weekend activities because it is fast, frequent, safe and gets them to where they want and need to go. There’s a lot more to do to bring more riders back to transit, but we’re encouraged by the fact that our ridership numbers continue to trend upward.”
Over the past year, LA Metro has implemented various measures to enhance the transit experience. These include fully restoring bus service to pre-pandemic levels, improving the frequency of service and opening the initial operating segment of the K Line. To ensure sufficient staffing, over 1,000 new transit operators have been hired, and more than 300 Metro Ambassadors have been added to enhance customer service.
Furthermore, LA Metro has also prioritised safety by increasing the presence of armed and unarmed security personnel. In addition to these efforts, the agency has focused on making transit more accessible and affordable. Its fare-free and reduced-price transit pass programmes, including the GoPass pilot programme for students and the Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) programme, have witnessed a substantial increase in usage, providing free and discounted rides to those in need.
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