From City News Service
LOS ANGELES — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board ordered a study March 26 into ways of reversing a decline in bus and rail ridership, with the number of boardings down 5 percent over the last eight months.
Ridership has been falling since April 2014, a trend described as “troubling” in a motion approved by the board.
Metro board chair and Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Paul Krekorian were among the authors of the motion, which directs staff to report back in 90 days on ways to better market Metro transit lines, make buses and rail cars more reliable and create a map that shows the frequency of various lines.
Metro’s systemwide weekday boardings in February totaled 1.1 million, down from 1.14 million in the same month in 2014 and 1.15 million in 2013, according to Metro figures.
While ridership on the Gold and Expo lines have increased, the Green and Blue lines showed declines in ridership in February.
Metro spokesman Marc Littman said factors affecting ridership could include lower gas prices and a rise in vehicle purchases. The Blue Line is also undergoing some upgrades, which may have also affected ridership on that line.
While the opening of the Expo Line and Gold Line extensions in 2016 could result in a surge in ridership, there is still a need to address the recent downward trend, Littman said.
“We need to get a handle on it and be proactive and strong in trying to boost [ridership],” he said.