The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) saw a 13% year-over-year increase in total system ridership in August 2023 compared to August 2022, with more than 25 million boardings, marking the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year ridership growth.
Metro’s monthly bus and rail ridership is now at 79% of its 2019 pre-pandemic level. Average weekend ridership is now at 75% of pre-pandemic (August 2019) levels and 79.5% for average weekdays.
The August Boost
In August, Metro had 25,124,083 boardings on its bus and rail services. An average of 889,573 rides were taken each weekday, with Saturday boardings averaging 663,475 and Sunday boardings averaging 502,501.
Post-pandemic ridership recovery continues to be strongest on the weekends, with average boardings on Saturdays reaching almost 88% of their (August 2019) pre-pandemic level and average boardings on Sundays reaching almost 83% of their (August 2019) pre-pandemic level.
August 2023 marked the second full month of operation for the newly reconfigured A and E Lines, thanks to the opening of the Regional Connector project in June 2023. The Regional Connector project consolidated three of Metro’s legacy rail lines, the A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines, into two: the A Line, serving customers from Azuza to Long Beach, and the E Line, serving customers from East L.A. to Santa Monica. The project also opened three new stations in downtown L.A.
During August 2023, ridership on the A and E Lines rose 29% on the weekdays compared to the combined ridership on the A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines in August 2022. Ridership on the weekends in August 2023 rose over 45% compared to the combined ridership on the A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines in August 2022.
Factors Playing into Ridership Boom
The increased focus on safety, and the resulting 54% decrease in crime across the system since April, is helping to drive increased ridership.
On the B Line (Red)/D Line (Purple) subway, ridership in August 2023 rose on both the weekdays and the weekends at 5% on weekdays and 4% on weekends compared to August 2022. On weekdays in August 2023, an average of 74,157 trips were taken on the B and D Lines, compared to 71,512 in August of 2022. On the weekends, Saturdays in August 2023, saw an average of 65,011 trips on the B and D Lines, compared to 63,078 in August 2022. Sunday trips taken were 57,549 in August 2023 compared to 54,720 in August 2022.
Special event service provided during the month for the Taylor Swift Eras Concerts and the Hard Summer Music Festival raised Metro ridership by 180,000 riders. Taylor Swift fans were able to take the K and C Lines with service directly to Sofi Stadium, with last mile services provided by Metro shuttles from the Downtown Inglewood Station on the K Line, and the Hawthorne/Norwalk Station on the C Line. Attendees of the Hard Summer Music Festival used Metro’s B, D & E Lines to get to their event.
In August 2023, Metro bus ridership saw a 12% year-over-year increase. More than 19.5 million rides were taken on Metro’s buses, with total bus ridership in August 2023 at 79% of its level in August 2019, before the pandemic.