Public Transportation Use down as Spending up

Transit ridership in Los Angeles County has declined precipitously in the last ten years, despite efforts by local transportation agencies that cost millions of dollars, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Some data from the Times include:

  1. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority saw its boardings drop over 10% between 2006 and 2015, even though it invested $9 billion for new light rail and subway lines.
  2. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s DASH and Commuter Express’ boardings plunged 19% between 2008 and 2014.
  3. Bus ridership in Orange County plunged 30% between 2008 and 2014, from 68.9 million to 48.1 million. Between the start of 2015 and the end of November, ridership fell another 2.4 million.
  4. Some smaller bus lines have lost 25% of their ridership.
  5. A Metro study revealed 16 transit providers in Los Angeles County had average quarterly declines of 4% to 5%.

 

In response to the decline in ridership, California politicians are doubling down on public transportation.

Last August, in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion, the Los Angeles City Council approved Mobility Plan 2035, which will add more lanes for buses and bikes–but increase vehicular traffic.

In addition, the L.A. Metro will spend over $12 billion over the next 10 years constructing two new rail lines and three extensions. The agency has addressed the traffic on Wilshire Boulevard, the most heavily traveled road in the county, by instituting bus lanes during rush hour.

Roughly 7% of Los Angeles County residents reportedly commute using public transit; Metro wants to increase that to 20% or more.


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