Other Improvements Include Crime Reduction, Visible Presence of Staff, and Vinyl Seats
By Dolores Quintana
During the Metro Los Angeles State of Agency address on Monday, Metro unveiled several significant accomplishments and ambitious plans to further improve public transit services in the region. The announcement responded to numerous requests from the community, showcasing Metro’s work to enhance the commuter experience.
One of the most prominent accomplishments highlighted during the address was the complete replacement of fabric seats on buses and trains with vinyl seats. This upgrade is aimed at improving durability and ease of maintenance, ensuring a more pleasant journey for passengers. While some social media comments stated that they had ridden trains or buses with the old fabric seats, a Metro social media representative asked the commenters for more information.
Metro’s vision to make transit even better in Los Angeles includes an even more expansive transit network by 2028. The ambitious plans include the addition of 130 miles of rail, 75 miles of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, and 100 miles of bus priority lanes.
Addressing public safety concerns, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins emphasized the increased visible presence of staff across the rail system to ensure the system is being utilized for its intended purpose: transit. This enhanced presence has yielded positive results, with overall crime experiencing a notable 53% decrease on the rail system and a 13% decrease on buses in May.
According to Metro, riders have also expressed their satisfaction with the service, as reflected in a decline in customer complaints. Moreover, valid TAP (Transit Access Pass) usage has risen, demonstrating increased compliance with fare payment regulations. Loitering and trespassing incidents have also seen a decline, contributing to a safer and more comfortable commuting environment.
Metro’s efforts to enhance public safety have garnered praise and support from key stakeholders. Outgoing Board Chair Ara Najarian, new Board Chair Mayor Karen Bass, and Supervisor Janice Hahn all articulated their shared priorities during the address:
- Improving Public Safety: Ensuring a secure environment for all riders remains a top focus, with measures to combat crime and safeguard passengers.
- Connecting the Unhoused to Resources: Metro is committed to working closely with social service organizations to provide support and resources to the unhoused population within the transit system.
- Encouraging Transit-Oriented Housing: Metro aims to promote and facilitate the construction of housing developments near transit stations, encouraging a more sustainable and transit-friendly lifestyle.
- Universal Transit Accessibility: Metro envisions creating a public transit system that caters to the diverse needs of all residents, ensuring equitable access to transportation services.