|Locale||Los Angeles County, California|
|Number of lines|
|Number of stations||Rail: 93|
|Daily ridership||1,174,751 (2019, weekdays)|
|Chief executive||Stephanie Wiggins|
|Headquarters||Metro Headquarters Building|
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA
|Began operation||February 1, 1993|
|System length||Rail: 105 miles (169 km)|
Bus: 1,433 miles (2,306 km)
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), commonly branded as Metro, is the agency that plans, operates, and coordinates funding for most of the transportation system in Los Angeles County. The agency directly operates a large transit system that includes bus, light rail, heavy rail (subway), and bus rapid transit services; and provides funding for transit it does not operate, including Metrolink commuter rail, municipal bus operators and paratransit services. Metro also provides funding and directs planning for railroad and highway projects within Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was formed on February 1, 1993 from the merger of two rival agencies: the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD or more often, RTD) and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC).
The RTD was founded on August 18, 1964, to operate most public transportation in the urbanized Southern California region, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside counties. RTD replaced the major predecessor public agency, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, and took over eleven failing other bus companies and services in the Southern California region. Services outside of Los Angeles County began to be divested in the early 1980s.
The LACTC was formed in 1976 after a state requirement that all counties form local transportation commissions. Its main objective was to be the guardian of all transportation funding, both transit and highway, for Los Angeles County.
The bickering between the two agencies came to a head in the 1980s. At that time, the LACTC was building the Blue Line (now A Line) light rail line between Los Angeles and Long Beach, while the RTD was building the Red Line (now B Line) subway in Downtown Los Angeles. It was revealed that due to disputes between the agencies, the LACTC was planning to end the Blue Line at Pico Station, instead of serving the 7th Street/Metro Center station being built by the RTD six blocks north.
LA Metro has assumed the functions of both agencies and now develops and oversees transportation plans, policies, funding programs, and both short-term and long-range solutions to mobility, accessibility and environmental needs in the county. The agency is also the primary transit provider for the city of Los Angeles, providing the bulk of such services even though the city's Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) operates a smaller system of its own within the MTA service area in the city of Los Angeles.
The agency is based out of the Metro Headquarters Building, a 26-story high-rise office tower located next to Union Station, a major transportation hub and the main train station for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates the third-largest public transportation system in the United States by ridership with a 1,433 mi² (3,711 km²) operating area and 2,000 peak hour buses on the street any given business day. Metro also operates 105 miles (169 km) of urban rail service. The authority has 9,892 employees, making it one of the region's largest employers.
The authority also partially funds sixteen municipal bus operators and an array of transportation projects including bikeways and pedestrian facilities, local roads and highway improvements, goods movement, Metrolink regional commuter rail, Freeway Service Patrol and freeway call boxes within the County of Los Angeles.
To increase sustainability in transportation services, Metro also provides bike and pedestrian improvements for the over 10.1 million residents of Los Angeles County.
Security and law enforcement services on Metro property (including buses and trains) are currently provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Transit Services Bureau via contract, in conjunction with Metro Transit Enforcement Department, Los Angeles Police Department (Union Station and all LACMTA rail services within the City of Los Angeles) and in the city of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department.
Main article: Los Angeles Metro Rail
Metro Rail is a rail mass transit system with two subway and four light rail lines, with one light rail line opening in 2022. As of November 2016[update], the system runs a total of 105 miles (169 km), with 93 stations and over 316,000 daily weekday boardings.
Main article: Los Angeles Metro Bus
Metro is the primary bus operator in the Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and the western San Gabriel Valley. Other transit providers operate more frequent service in the rest of the county. Regions in Los Angeles County that Metro Bus does not serve at all include rural regions, the Pomona Valley, the Santa Clarita Valley, and the Antelope Valley.
In addition to hundreds of traditional routes, Metro also operates a handful of Rapid routes that offer limited-stop services heavily traveled arterial streets and Express routes that travel on the extensive Southern California freeway system.
Main article: Los Angeles Metro Busway
Metro Busway is a bus rapid transit system with two lines operating on dedicated or shared-use busways. The system runs a total of 60 miles (97 km), with 29 stations and over 42,000 daily weekday boardings as of May 2016.
The Metro Busway system is meant to mimic the Metro Rail system, both in the vehicle's design and in the operation of the line. Vehicles stop at dedicated stations (except for the portion of the Metro J Line in Downtown Los Angeles), vehicles receive priority at intersections and are painted in a silver livery similar to Metro Rail vehicles.
The Metro Busway J Line operates over two busways, semi-exclusive roadways built into the Southern California freeway system. These busways are also used by other bus routes to speed up their trips.
All Metro passes are sold on TAP Cards, smart fare cards on which customers can load value or a pass; they are valid on all Metro buses and trains as well as most city buses.
Faregates at some Metro Rail stations and the G Line require a TAP card, but Metro as a whole operates on a proof-of-payment system. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department and Metro's fare inspectors conduct random ticket inspections throughout the system. If customers are caught without a valid TAP card, they may be fined and/or subject to community service.
Fare evasion was estimated in 2007 to be at 6%, costing Metro $2.6 million annually. In response to this, the Metro board approved fare gating of all stations on the Red and Green Lines, and selected stations on the Orange, Blue, and Gold Lines, capturing 84% of passengers using the system. Adding fare gates was selected to increase fare collections, implement distance based fares on rail and transitways in the future, and reduce the potential of the system to terrorist attack. Former Metrolink executive director Richard Stanger critiqued the gate installation by citing its cost and ineffectiveness, concerns ultimately dismissed by the Metro board.
The Metro B Line has the highest ridership of all the Metro Rail Lines. The Metro B Line's operational cost is the lowest of all of the Metro Rail lines because of its high ridership. The Metro Liner Metro J Line has the lowest ridership of all color-branded lines. Average daily boardings and passenger miles for all of 2018 are as follows:
|Service||Weekdays||Saturdays||Sundays and Holidays||Average Weekday Passenger Miles|
| B Line
|Bus and BRT|
|Total Bus and Rail||1,214,893||752,462||601,200||5,824,359|
Metro is governed by a Board of Directors with 14 members, 13 of whom are voting members. The Board is composed of:
While the Metro board makes decisions on large issues, they rely on Service Councils to advise on smaller decisions, such as on bus stop placement and over bus service changes. To enable this work, the councils call and conduct public hearings, evaluate Metro programs in their area, and meet with management staff. There are five Service Councils, each representing a different region: Gateway Cities, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, and Westside/Central. Each council is led by a board composed of a political appointees.
A complex mix of federal, state, county and city tax dollars as well as bonds and fare box revenue funds Metro.
The Metro budget for 2020 is $7.2 billion. Below is the funding breakdown from Metro's fiscal year 2020 budget:
|Revenues||US$ in Millions 2020|
|Proposition A (0.5% sales tax)||873|
|Proposition C (0.5% sales tax)||873|
|Measure R (0.5% sales tax)||873|
|Measure M (0.5% sales tax)||873|
|Transportation Development Act (0.25% sales tax)||436.5|
|State Transit Assistance ("Diesel Tax")||215.8|
|SB 1 State of Good Repair Funding ("Gas Tax")||30.1|
|Metro Passenger Fares||284.5|
|Metro ExpressLanes Tolls||58.4|
|Bond Proceeds & Prior Year Carryover||1,408.6|
|Total Resources (US$ millions)||7,207.6|
The agency is a public transportation and planning agency that lies under the jurisdiction of the State of California. Although it falls under State regulations, it can also partake in regional and municipal levels of rule during a transportation development project. For example, it can play a role in policies regarding a state's housing policies, since the living situation of one affects the methods of transportation its residents will take.
This transit agency can measure successful projects through key pointers such as low income ridership increase and an increase of favorable environmental and health factors for its public community. Increased low income ridership is a significant factor because that focus group tends to makes up the majority of public transit ridership. Favorable environmental and health factors are also relevant factors because they indicate a positive relationship within the space developed and its residents.
Main article: Los Angeles Metro bus fleet
Main article: Los Angeles Metro Rail rolling stock
Most of Metro's bus fleet is powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), the largest such fleet in the United States. Using CNG reduces emissions of particulates by 90%, carbon monoxide by 80%, and greenhouse gases by 20% compared to diesel powered buses. The agency is also operating a limited number of battery electric buses, notably on the G Line busway, with plans to have a fully electric bus system by 2030. Buses feature on-board visual displays and automatic voice announcement systems that announce the next stop.
The Metro Rail fleet is broken down into two main types: light rail vehicles and rapid transit cars (commonly called subway cars in Los Angeles). Metro's light rail vehicles, used on the A, C, E and L Lines, are 87-foot (26.52 m) articulated, high-floor double-ended cars, powered by overhead catenary lines, which typically run in two or three car consists. Metro's subway cars, used on the B (Red) and D (Purple) Lines, are 75-foot (22.86 m) electric multiple unit, married-pair cars, powered by electrified third rail, that typically run in four or six car consists.
Metro is currently implementing its "NextGen Bus Plan," a major restructuring of the agencies routes. The plan eliminates most of the Metro Rapid routes, along with low-performing Metro Local lines, to invest in the remaining routes. Metro says the plan will double the number of frequent bus lines (defined as a bus every 10 minute or better) and expand midday, evening and weekend service, while ensuring that 99% of current riders continue to have a less than ¼-mile walk to their bus stop.
The plan is being rolled out in several phases that started in December 2020 and are expected to be complete by December 2021.
Further information: Regional Connector
The Regional Connector is a tunnel under Downtown Los Angeles, joining the L Line at Little Tokyo Station (1st Street and Central Avenue) to the A Line (Blue Line) and E Line (Expo Line) at 7th Street/Metro Center. This will lead to the creation of two lines, one between Long Beach and Azusa, and the other between East Los Angeles and Santa Monica. The project is expected to open in August 2022.
Further information: K Line (Los Angeles Metro)
The K Line, known as the Crenshaw/LAX Line during construction, is being built from Aviation/LAX station on the C Line to Expo/Crenshaw station on the E Line, passing through Inglewood and Crenshaw, Los Angeles. It will connect with a people mover to serve Los Angeles International Airport. A further phase will extend the line to Hollywood to connect with the B Line. The project has suffered repeated delays and now is expected to open in November 2022.
Further information: Purple Line Extension
Phase 1 of the Purple Line Extension will add three new subway stations to the D Line at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, and Wilshire/La Cienega. Construction on Phase 1 began in 2014 and is expected to be complete in 2024. Phase 2 to Century City is expected to be complete in 2025, followed by Phase 3 to Westwood in 2027.
Further information: Gold Line Foothill Extension
Metro is planning an extension of the Gold Line into the San Gabriel Valley to Pomona (North) station. The first phase of this extension, to Azusa, opened on March 5, 2016. Construction for the second phase to Pomona began on December 2, 2017 and is expected to complete by early 2026.
Measure M, passed on November 2016, extends and increases the Measure R 30-year half-cent sales tax to a permanent one-cent sales tax. This tax is expected to fund $120 billion in highway and transit projects over 40 years. The tax is also expected to support over 778,000 jobs in the Los Angeles area and $79.3 billion in economic output.
Projects to be funded by Measure M, not previously mentioned above, include:
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