There were 255 million boardings in 2022, surpassing the 227 million in 2021.

There were 255 million boardings in 2022, surpassing the 227 million in 2021.

Photo: Han Zheng (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced a 12% increase in transit ridership compared to a year ago.

There were 255 million boardings in 2022, surpassing the 227 million in 2021, according to Metro's news release.

“During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Metro’s riders disappeared, and stayed away for most of the epidemic," said Ara J. Najarian, Metro Board chair. "As we saw Angelenos return to their pre-pandemic lives last year, Metro is working diligently to restore the level of service for those who depend on transit to get where they need to be to see riders come back on our county’s buses and rail lines as a result."

Over the past year, Metro invested in several programs and projects to improve bus and rail services. As a result of these investments, bus ridership increased by 10%, and rail ridership was up by almost 20%.

One program that contributed to these increases is the NextGen Bus plan, which results from a reimagined bus system that focuses on providing accessible service.

Metro riders now experience an increase in the frequency of buses on key routes, making access to grocery stores, schools, parks, and medical centers more readily available.

There are now 1.1 million jobs accessible through frequent bus services with 10-minute or better intervals, representing a 350% improvement over pre-pandemic services.

According to an October 2022 Customer Experience survey, 75% of Metro’s riders are from low-income households. Metro has expanded its Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) and GoPass pilot programs to make fares more affordable.

The Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program offers fare discounts that can be applied toward the purchase of weekly and monthly transit passes on Metro and any LIFE program participating transit agencies or 20 free rides on any of the participating transit agencies.

In 2022, Metro delivered more than 10 million rides to LIFE program holders and more than 11.7 million rides to GoPass holders.

“Metro is better serving the diverse communities that rely on public transportation to access education, employment, healthcare, and other essential services,” said Stephanie Wiggins, Metro CEO. “We’re just beginning to see the fruits of our efforts to restore ridership as riders feel more confident and comfortable using public transportation to get where they need to go.”

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