|Locale||Los Angeles County, California|
|Number of lines|
|Number of stations||Rail: 101|
|Daily ridership||881,600 (weekdays, Q2 2023)|
|Annual ridership||255,250,500 (2022)|
|Chief executive||Stephanie Wiggins|
|Headquarters||Metro Headquarters Building|
One Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, California
|Began operation||February 1, 1993|
|System length||Rail: 109 miles (175 km)|
Bus: 1,447 miles (2,329 km)
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), branded as Metro, is the county agency that plans, operates, and coordinates funding for most of the public transportation system in Los Angeles County, California, the most populated county in the United States. 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. In 2022, the system had a total ridership of 255,250,500 and had a ridership of 881,600 per weekday as of the second quarter of 2023. It is the single largest transit agency within the county as well.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority was formed on February 1, 1993, by the California State Legislature which merged 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 began operation in 1977 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 109 miles (175 km) of urban rail service. The authority has 10,290 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 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) in the City of Long Beach, the Long Beach Police Department and in the City of Santa Monica, California the Santa Monica Police Department.
Main article: Los Angeles Metro Rail
Metro Rail is a rail mass transit system with two subway and four light rail lines. As of June 2023[update], the system runs a total of 109 miles (175 km), with 101 stations.
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 55.7 miles (89.6 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; they are valid on all Metro buses and trains and on 25 other transit agencies in Los Angeles County. Although they can pay exact cash on Metro buses, passengers are required to buy a TAP card to use Metro Rail. Passengers using a TAP card can also transfer between Metro routes for free within 2 hours from the first tap, and can be bought at fare machines, local vendors, online, and at Metro Customer Care Centers.
Fare gates are installed at all B, C, D and K Line stations, along with select A and E Line stations. Fare gates were added after 2007 to reduce fare evasion. At the time the decision was criticized for its cost and perceived ineffectiveness.
In July 2023, Metro updated their fares to make them easy to use. All freeway express routes now charge the same as a Metro local or limited line and Metro Rail. They also replaced the 1-Day, 7-Day, and 30-Day passes with fare capping. With fare capping, passengers will never pay over $5 (3 rides) in a day or $18 (11 rides) within seven days. Once they reach the 1-Day or 7-Day fare cap, rides are free. Discounts are given to verified seniors, students, and low income passengers.
|Fare type||Regular||Senior (62+)
|Low Income (LIFE)|
|Base fare||$1.75||$0.35 (off-peak)
|$0.75||20 Free Rides then Regular fare|
The Metro B Line has the highest ridership of all Metro Rail lines and also the lowest operational cost because of its high ridership. The Metro Busway 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|
Day-to-day operations of Metro is overseen by Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins. 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.
Board of Directors
Chair Pro Tem
Chief Executive Officer
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 substantial number of battery electric buses, notably on the G Line busway which has seen all CNG buses replaced with battery electric ones, and has plans to convert into a fully electric bus system. 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 K 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 and D 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 agency's routes. The plan eliminates most of the Metro Rapid routes and 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 minutes or better) and expand midday, evening, and weekend service while ensuring that 99% of current riders continue to have a less than 1⁄4-mile walk to their bus stop.
Further information: D Line Extension
Section 1 of the D Line Extension will add three new subway stations to the D Line at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, and Wilshire/La Cienega. Construction on Section 1 began in 2014 and is expected to be complete in 2025. Section 2 to Century City is expected to be completed in 2026, followed by Section 3 to Westwood in 2027.
Further information: Foothill Extension
Metro is constructing an extension of the A Line to Pomona–North station. The first phase of this extension, to Azusa, opened on March 5, 2016. Groundbreaking for the second phase to Pomona occurred on December 2, 2017, with construction starting in July 2020. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2025.
Main article: Los Angeles Aerial Rapid Transit
Metro, in partnership with LA Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC, is currently proposing to construct an aerial gondola system to connect Dodger Stadium and the stadium's surrounding communities to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. When completed, the approximate 5,000 people per hour, per direction aerial gondola is expected to transport visitors from Union Station to Dodger Stadium in approximately seven minutes. Additionally, the proposed project would also include several improvements to the nearby Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Measure M, passed in 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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