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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will begin implementing the first phase of bus service changes as part of the NextGen Bus Plan starting Dec. 13.
The plan will reportedly improve bus frequencies and better serve riders. Bus trips will be added to many Metro Bus lines to improve the frequency of service and provide more room for riders to practice social distancing whenever possible. Also, other bus routes are being modified with route changes to speed up trips and a few lines with low ridership are being discontinued.
It is expected that when the NextGen Bus Plan is fully implemented in December 2021, there will be more frequent, all-day bus service on more routes, shorter wait times for buses, and more reliable service.
Los Angeles Mayor and L.A. Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti reportedly said: “Metro’s bus network is the backbone of our transit vision, and this first phase of the NextGen Bus Plan is the next step toward what we need to see on our roads: more dedicated bus lanes, higher ridership and faster, more reliable service.”
Even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NextGen network said focusing on improving the frequency of service will better serve bus riders. L.A. Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said: “Metro’s bus ridership has fallen less during the pandemic than in many other metro areas — which demonstrates how much people completely depend on our bus system.”
Among the changes coming on Dec. 13 include:
Some bus stops on local bus lines will change to reduce travel time on the bus while maintaining easy access to bus stops. Other bus lines will have route modifications and changes in frequency. L.A. Metro is also discontinuing a few low ridership bus lines that will be replaced by trips on other municipal bus operators. If a stop is being discontinued, riders will see a sign on it directing them to the nearest stop.
Moreover, L.A. Metro is also launching on Dec. 13 a new on-demand rideshare service called Metro Micro in two service areas: LAX/Inglewood and Watts/Willowbrook. The new service is for short trips and will use vans with limited seating.