The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board of directors approved a fare structure and maps for a three-year microtransit pilot project that will bring a new Metro-operated, on-demand shared ride service within the region.
In February, the Metro board approved awarding a $29-million contract to private ridesharing company RideCo Inc. to partner with Metro for the three-year pilot project.
The project, called Metro Micro, is designed to replace short, solo trips by offering a flexible, on-demand service operated by Metro employees in vehicles that hold up to 10 passengers. Rides will cost an introductory rate of $1 (transfer not included) for the first six months in each designated service zone. Metro staff will return to the board at the end of the six-month introductory period to consider potential fare adjustments.
The technology behind Metro Micro will allow riders to plan entire trips — both microtransit and their bus and train ride — using real-time booking through a single mobile app, internet browser, or Metro’s call center. Riders will be able to pay for the service by using their TAP card and TAP account, or with a debit, credit, or prepaid credit card.
Metro Micro is set to launch in its first two zones, the Watts/Willowbrook area and the LAX/Inglewood area, as soon as December.
The project is being designed alongside Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan to expand ride-hailing technology to all public transit riders, including underserved communities, along with areas of Los Angeles County where fixed-route bus or rail service is less frequent or unavailable.
Similar to other pilot projects, Metro Micro staff will be continually adjusting this service based on demand and real-time results from data collected during its operation. Staff will also be screened and will receive safety training, including incident prevention and COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.