Los Angeles Neighborhood News

Los Angeles Metro Ridership Down Nearly 19 Percent Since July 2013

Los Angeles has never been known for good public transportation, but recent efforts by the city and county have at least made strides toward providing the area with options. Unfortunately, it appears residents aren’t using them as much as expected. 

According to Metro’s recently released July ridership data, total passenger numbers are down nearly 19 percent from July 2013 — from 39.8 million to 32.3 million. The decline can be seen across the entire Metro system of bus, subway, and light rail, and bus ridership alone decreased by 20 percent.

All of this information can be troubling for the city and Metro at a time when LA continues to invest in public transportation as a revitalization of core areas and a major component of the region’s successful 2028 Olympic bid. Some of the largest projects include an extensive renovation to Union Station, the Gold Line extension to Claremont, and a station for LAX airport. Santa Monica and the West Side have recently been connected to other parts of the county via rail as well, but passenger numbers aren’t climbing accordingly. 

Reacting to the Metro data, Curbed LA looked into some of the reasons why ridership is down in LA. Some of the big answers: Los Angeles traffic is (somehow) getting worse, service cuts make certain routes less convenient, cheaper fuel, and LA’s increasing housing costs. 

Metro’s conducting a study of its own to get to the bottom of things, with an eye on changes for 2019. But in the meantime, it’s unlikely to get riders back on or make the cash outlay for Metro expansion any easier.

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