Ridership on Los Angeles County buses has been in decline over the last decade. The bus system, which carries about three-quarters of the system’s passengers has fallen to the lowest level in more than 10 years.
Concerned with this decline, Metro conceived the NextGen Bus Plan. This plan calls for redesigning a network that will increase service to current customers, attract new ones and win back past costumers. The proposed plan was developed through consideration of both technical data and the personal experiences that Metro heard from nearly 20,000 residents and riders through questionnaires and 300 meetings, events, presentations and workshops.
The proposal also includes a $1-billion five-year capital program to improve travel, bus routes, reliability, speed, and comfort— $750 million for bus-only lanes, synchronized traffic signals, and about $150 million for shelter upgrades to make bus stops more comfortable.
About 80% of Metro riders would benefit from the new level of service proposed in the NextGen plan, by providing additional buses to arrive every 5 to 10 minutes for 29 major bus routes during weekdays and 14 lines on weekend days. The plan shows a potential ridership increase of 25-30 percent over the next half-decade.
The NextGen Bus Plan was divided into four phases which included:
Phase 1: Conduct of market research, travel demand analysis and existing service evaluation to identify areas of success, deficiencies, and gaps within the network; in summary, this phase consisted of understanding customers and what they want in a bus system.
Phase 2: Based on the research and outreach conducted in Phase 1, this Phase established a Regional Service Concept to guide the development of the NextGen Service Plan; it provided a planning framework to redesign the bus network.
Phase 3: Development of the NextGen Service Plan, including routing, stop spacing, frequency, the span of service, and coordination with municipal operators. Metro staff processed all the robust data and input received to date and restructured current bus lines and updated the entire bus system.
Phase 4: The current phase, will implement the NextGen Service Plan through an extensive engagement and public hearing process. These new services will be presented to the Metro Board and the public.
In January, the Metro Board approved releasing the draft NextGen Bus Plan for public review. Through March, LA Metro will host a series of public workshops to showcase bus line changes and system updates. This is an opportunity for the public to learn and provide feedback.
To find out more information about NextGen and to attend a public workshop please visit NextGen Bus Plan.