Metro sees highest increase of riders since the COVID pandemic, more services arriving soon


Los Angeles, California – Metro celebrated an increase in its number of passengers on Tuesday, with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass pointing out this rise as evidence of the transport service being safer and easier to get on. In 2023, Metro saw an 11.6% jump in the number of people using its buses and trains, hitting the highest figures since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the agency shared on Monday.

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“Metro is making the system safer, more welcoming and accessible,” Bass, who is also the Metro Board Chair, said in a statement. “The ridership numbers reflect that.”

Metro reported 11.6% rise in 2023 from the numbers in 2022

Metro reported that in 2023, there were 284,905,020 rides on its buses and trains, marking an 11.6% rise from the numbers in 2022. The agency attributed this growth to its focus on enhancing safety, keeping things clean, and making services faster. Metro also highlighted that events on weekends and sports gatherings were key factors in attracting more riders in 2023.

“We’ve been working hard over the last couple of years to put people first and make our system cleaner, safer and more reliable and easier to use than ever before,” Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of Metro, said in a statement. “Because of all our improvements, Angelenos are increasingly making Metro their mode of choice to get to their favorite destinations, especially on weekends.

“We look forward to building on the success of 2023 and making 2024 an even better year for Angelenos and our agency,” she added.

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Improved security measures for greater passenger safety

In 2023, Metro beefed up its security with various measures, including Metro Transit Security, Metro Ambassadors, and care teams, focusing on cutting down trespassing and drug use. These efforts led to a nearly 30% reduction in such incidents, according to the agency.

Metro also praised the impact of its station experience program at Westlake/MacArthur Park, a location previously known for high crime levels. Improvements included better lighting, modified entrances, enhanced ventilation, stronger fare gates, and the introduction of a mobile health clinic, along with teams to reach out to the homeless and provide crisis intervention.

To improve cleanliness, Metro replaced cloth seats with vinyl, hired additional cleaning staff, and stepped up its cleaning routines across stations and at the end of lines, ensuring a cleaner environment day and night.

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More services offered to passengers and more employees

Last year, Metro made its services more reliable and offered them more often. They extended their operating hours into the late night, created lanes just for buses, improved how they handle big events, and hired over 1,000 people to drive their buses and trains.

The big news was the start of the Regional Connector in June 2023, which changed how the A and E Lines run. By the end of its first seven months, this change helped increase the number of people riding in December 2023 by 33.4% compared to December 2022, back when the lines were separate.

Metro also made the B (Red) and D (Purple) lines come more often. Now, trains on these lines run every 12 minutes from early morning until 9 at night, and from 8:15 in the morning until 7 at night on weekends.

Trains on the shared track between Wilshire/Vermont and Union Station for the B and D lines are now coming every six minutes.

The frequency of trains on the light rail lines, including the A (Blue), C (Green), E (Gold), and K (Expo) lines, was also improved, with extra trains late at night on the A and E lines. During rush hours on weekdays and midday, trains on these lines are now arriving every eight minutes, and every 10 minutes on weekends from morning till evening. These lines also got an extra 40 minutes of service each night.

In December, the C and K lines also saw better service, with trains running every 10 minutes during the week and on weekends.

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More to come

Metro is planning to make the K line even more frequent by May 2024, after finishing some work and tests that will link the C and K lines with the new LAX/Metro Transit Center Station, expected to open at the end of 2024.

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Jack Wolf
Jack Wolf
Jack is Long Beach native and proud member of US News Hub team. Jack knows best what Long Beach residents want and need to hear as he is one of them. At US News Hub, Jack is the one responsible for local news in Los Angeles county, with the focus on the Long Beach area.

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