L.A. Metro launches new Metro Micro shared ride service along with the first phase of NextGen Bus Plan

Dec. 14, 2020
The new micro service is designed to integrate directly into the existing transit system and enhance transit service where it’s challenging to run fixed-route buses.

The Metro Micro project has been introduced by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) as part of the first phase of the authority’s NextGen Bus Plan.

NextGen represents the first major overhaul of L.A. Metro’s bus network in more than 25 years and is designed to speed up bus trips, provide more frequent trips to the bulk of L.A. Metro’s riders and improve reliability and accessibility.

Metro Micro is a new on demand ride-sharing service using vans and small vehicles that will be operated by L.A. Metro in select zones. The service is designed to integrate directly into the existing transit system and enhance transit service where it’s challenging to run fixed-route buses.

"Our mission is to create a world-class transportation system for Los Angeles by giving Angelenos a wide array of convenient, reliable and affordable transportation options to get where they need to go," said Los Angeles Mayor and L.A. Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. "With NextGen and Metro Micro, we are rolling out two key projects in our pursuit of a city and region defined by greater mobility and expanded prosperity for every rider, commuter, and resident."

Metro Micro is an on-demand shared ride service using vans for short trips within designated service zones in Los Angeles County. The technology behind this service will allow riders to plan entire trips – both Metro Micro and their bus or train ride – in real-time using a single mobile app, internet browser or L.A. Metro’s call center. Riders will be able to pay for the service by using their TAP card and TAP account or with a debit, credit or prepaid credit card.

Rides will cost an introductory rate of $1 per ride (transfer not included) for the first six months of Metro Micro service in each zone. Metro staff will return to the board at the end of the six-month introductory period to consider potential fare adjustments.

The service will launch in its first two zones, the South Los Angeles Area and the LAX/Inglewood area. Service hours at launch are:

  • Watts/Willowbrook: 5:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., seven days a week
  • LAX/Inglewood: 5:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday

Future service zones to be launched in 2021 are:

  • Compton
  • El Monte
  • North Hollywood/Burbank
  • Northwest San Fernando Valley
  • Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glendale
  • Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre
  • UCLA/VA Medical Center/Century City

In February, the L.A. Metro Board approved awarding a $29-million contract to private ridesharing company RideCo Inc., to partner with the authority to operate Metro Micro. This three-year pilot project is designed to replace short, solo trips by offering a flexible, on-demand service operated by L.A. Metro employees in vehicles that hold up to 10 passengers. Similar to other pilot projects, Metro Micro staff will be continually adjusting this service based on demand and real-time results from data collected during its operation.

In addition to offering a more flexible mobility option, the MicroTransit Pilot Project has been designed with safety in mind. Vehicles will be operated by L.A. Metro employees who are extensively screened before they are hired and will receive specialized safety training, including incident prevention and robust COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

"It’s not every day that we can commemorate the launch of not one, but two services that will help people to get around Los Angeles County faster and more efficiently," said Los Angeles City Councilmember and L.A. Metro Board Member Mike Bonin. "The NextGen Bus Plan and Metro Micro are both the result of listening to Metro riders and finding creative ways to get them to essential jobs and tasks. We owe it to our riders to find innovative solutions to make transit more attractive and help alleviate some of the misery of traffic congestion."