Metro Ridership Continues Comeback in March, Big Bump On the E/Expo Line

Date:

The following is a lightly edited press release from Metro.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today announced that the agency saw a 9.4 percent increase in total system ridership in March 2024 compared to March 2023 with nearly 26 million boardings. Average weekday rail ridership saw a 6.4 percent increase in boardings over March 2023, surpassing 200,000 boardings for the second time since the beginning of the pandemic. March 2024 marked the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year ridership growth.

In March 2024, Metro had a total of 25,880,698 boardings on its bus and rail services. An average of 955,918 rides were taken each weekday with Saturday boardings averaging 606,255 and Sunday boardings averaging 555,029. Metro’s March total bus and rail ridership combined was at 81.5 percent of its March 2019 pre-pandemic level. Total weekend ridership in March was 89.2 percent of pre-pandemic (March 2019) levels and total March weekday ridership was 79.5 percent of its March 2019 pre-pandemic level.

Rail Ridership

March 2024 was an impressive month for Metro rail ridership. The new A and E Lines were up 25.6 percent on weekdays and 26.3 percent on weekends. This month the light rail A Line saw 1,412,523 total weekday boardings and surpassed the subway B Line, which saw 1,385,496 boardings, as Metro’s busiest weekday rail line. The C Line average weekday ridership was up 22.2 percent and the K Line also saw a 6.5 percent increase in average weekday ridership. Total March rail boardings were 5,717,630 with 4,311,720 trips taken on weekdays.

Bus Ridership

Metro bus ridership in March saw a 11.3 percent year-over-year increase over March 2023. More than 20 million (20,163,068) rides were taken on Metro buses, with total bus ridership in March 2024 at 85.6 percent of its pre-pandemic (March 2019) level. Metro recorded an average of 750,598 bus boardings on weekdays in March, an average of 460,779 boardings on Saturdays and an average of 419,323 boardings on Sundays.

Ridership continues to grow as Metro furthers its human-centric, multilayered approach to safety, improved cleanliness, improved reliability, and frequency of service as well as fully restored bus service.

Leisure Travelers

Weekends continue to show the strongest ridership recovery as leisure travelers are turning to Metro for travel to activities throughout the county. Average boardings on bus and rail combined on Saturdays reached 85.5 percent of March 2019 levels and on Sundays during the month average combined boardings reached 93.7 percent of March 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

During March, weekend activities such as the Concacaf Soccer Championship, the LA Wine and Food Festival, the 96th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars), plus LAFC, Chivas, Clippers and Dodger fans took advantage of Metro’s service boosting weekend ridership.

Fare Programs

Metro continues to provide programs that make riding more affordable for everyone. The agency’s reduced-price transit pass programs, such as the student GoPass pilot program, which offers free transit passes to K-12 and community college students, and its Low-Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program, which provides free rides and reduced fares to low-income customers, are helping those who need it most.

In March, the GoPass Pilot Program saw 1,985,314 total boardings versus 1,771.640 in March 2023, reflecting a 12 percent year-over-year increase. The LIFE Program observed an 18 percent year-over-year increase in March ridership with 1,484,150 boardings compared to 1,260,155 in March 2023.

Metro’s fare capping policy provides riders who pay with a TAP card a set fare of no more $5 a day or $18 over seven days. Once they’ve reached those limits, they ride free for the remainder of the day or seven-day period.

And Metro’s Mobility Wallet Pilot Program gives in-need Angelenos the freedom to choose the mode that best suits their travel requirements by providing a debit card with $150 per month to spend on transportation. The card can be used to take the bus, ride the train, use bike share, take Metro-Micro and much more.

Information on all Metro’s reduced fare programs, including discounts for seniors, persons with disabilities and college students can be found at: metro.net/riding/fares/

Ridership Calculations

Metro has updated its monthly ridership numbers dating back to April 2022 to correct a data validation error which inaccurately counted ridership at an average of 5 percent lower than actual ridership on Metro’s light rail lines (A, E, L, C and K). This error did not affect bus and heavy rail ridership numbers and occurred when manual adjustments were made to Metro’s Automatic Passenger Counting system to account for non-transit activity, such as security personnel, custodians and supervisors helping to clear and clean the trains at the end of the line. During this manual process, some transit passengers were undercounted. Metro has corrected its data validation procedures to account for this error and has added additional validations to avoid such an error occurring again. This error had no effect on Metro’s operations or finances. Metro discovered this error through a public discussion on Reddit and thanks a devoted transit enthusiast for identifying this issue.

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