LOS ANGELES (CNS) - LA Metro will add service on dozens of bus lines, particularly in the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley, and expand its ride-hailing service Metro Micro starting Sunday, transportation officials said Wednesday.
Metro Micro will expand into a Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glendale zone and an Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre zone.
The expansion -- in the second phase of the organization's NextGen Bus services changes -- is part of L.A. Metro's effort to meet its goal of restoring transit service to pre-pandemic levels by September.
"Metro's bus network is the backbone of our transit system, and the NextGen Plan is our next step toward higher ridership, faster and more reliable service, and lower emissions," Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti said. "This next phase of Metro services sends a clear message to Angelenos: We hear your feedback and are working tirelessly to make our system work better for you."
Bus trips will be added to the following lines seven days a week: 2, 4, 14, 16, 18, 20, 28, 30, 33, 37, 40, 45, 51, 53, 60, 66, 70, 78, 79, 81, 90, 96, 106, 108, 125, 127, 128, 152, 155, 158, 161, 162, 164, 165, 166, 180, 182, 200, 204, 205, 207, 210, 212, 217, 218, 222, 224, 232, 233, 234, 236, 240, 244, 251, 256, 260, 266, 287, 294, 501, 603, 605, 617, 662, 665, 690, 720, 754, 761, G Line.
Bus trips on weekdays only will be added to the following lines: 62, 92, 94, 105, 110, 111, 117, 130, 154, 169, 202, 230, 242, 243, 265, 267, 268, 487, 489, 577, 704, 854, J Line.
Bus trips on Saturdays only will be added to the following lines: 115, 230, 242, 243.
Bus trips on Sundays only will be added to the 105 line.
"The NextGen program is a major enhancement of Metro's bus network that demonstrates the benefits of a holistic network-based approach that will benefit riders for decades to come," Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins said. "We are excited about the roll-out of Phase 2 and what it will do for our customers. Other transit agencies around the country have inquired how they can model our NextGen in their own systems."
Weekday rail service will also be improved with added frequency during morning and afternoon peak times on the A Line, E Line, C Line, and L Line, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Metro Micro program, which was launched in December as a partnership with RideCo Inc., offers rides for $1 through the end of 2021. Each ride-hailing vehicle holds up to 10 passengers, and a person's trip must start and end within the same zone.
Riders can use a mobile app to plan their trip, including on Metro Micro and bus and train rides. The average wait time is about 10 minutes, according to Metro's website.
The new Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glendale zone will help people access Glendale Community College and Occidental College, hiking and outdoor activities, Metrolink's Glendale Station and Metro's L Line.
The Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre zone will provide access to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Community College, Caltech, downtown Pasadena, and connections to Metro's L Line.
Other zones include Watts/Willowbrook, LAX/Inglewood, Compton/Artesia, North Hollywood/Burbank and El Monte.
The NexGen Bus service changes also includes the addition of a dedicated bus-only lane on Alvarado Street between Seventh Street and the Hollywood (101) Freeway, which will open by the end of June. Officials hope it will enhance mobility and improve safety for transit riders.
Once completed, the bus-only lane will run a 1.7-mile segment of Alvarado Street between Seventh Street and Sunset Boulevard. Officials noted that bus priority lanes speed up bus service by as much as 15%, increasing service frequency and reliability.
"The continued implementation of NextGen, expansion of MicroTransit, and installation of bus lanes is critical, especially as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic," Board of Supervisors Chair and Metro Vice Chair Hilda Solis said. "These efforts will help provide more frequent and faster mobility options to our transit riders, predominantly serving communities of color. When we invest in public transit, we are making a commitment to supporting our communities."