LACMTA Rail Ridership Update – April 2015

Another three months has passed, so it’s time for another LACMTA rail ridership update. As a reminder, bus ridership for the Westside and San Fernando Valley has been broken out into separate posts, which will follow shortly.

First, the raw data. Highlighted cells represent the top 10 months for that line (since January 2009).


Last time we looked, we noted that the January 2015 data looked very suspicious, and indeed, ridership data was revised for August 2014, December 2014, and January 2015 for all lines. Some numbers were revised up and some down, but in general they were all revised towards being less outlying data. Recent trends have continued, with the Blue, Green, and Red/Purple Lines continuing to slip a little. The Gold Line and Expo Lines continue to be near, though not at, all-time highs. Expo Line ridership appears to have leveled off, which we can see in the rolling 12-month averages.

Here’s the rolling 12-month average of weekday ridership:


As noted previously, some of the drop in the Blue and Red/Purple Lines may be due to ongoing construction that has increased late-night headways and shut down portions of the Blue Line at times.

Here’s the Saturday and Sunday rolling 12-month averages.

Sat-12mo-201504 Sun-12mo-201504

And lastly, here’s the update for the rolling 12-month average of boardings per mile:


Again, Expo Line ridership is leveling off. The relative quiet continues while we wait for the Expo Line and Gold Line extensions.

4 thoughts on “LACMTA Rail Ridership Update – April 2015

  1. Shane Phillips

    I can definitely confirm that the maintenance schedule that seems to be in effect about 5 days of every week after 8:30pm is a huge deterrent to relying on the Red/Purple lines—especially the Purple. I hope whatever work they’re doing, which has already been going on for at least 2 years, is almost done and will keep things running smoothly for at least the next few decades without frequent maintenance work.

    My schedule getting home in the later evening is always completely unpredictable. I live near Wilshire/Western so if I’m coming from Hollywood/North Hollywood I have to decide whether to get off at Western/Hollywood and risk a trip on the 207, which only comes by every 20-30 minutes later in the evening, or take it to Wilshire/Vermont and either walk the remaining mile home or hope that a 20 or 720 is coming by soon (which, with such unpredictable schedules on those lines is never a certainty, even when real time says a bus is close). If I’m coming from around Downtown, I have to decide whether to take a 720 from 5th/Hope or catch a Red Line bus from Metro Center and either get out at Wilshire/Vermont and walk or again, wait for a 720/20—OR, possibly transfer to a Purple line train for the last few stops, but somehow they seem to have it scheduled so you wait 20 minutes for a Red Line train downtown then when you get to Wilshire/Vermont you have to wait the full 20 minutes again.

    The transfer schedule is absolutely horrible during this never-ending maintenance schedule. I don’t blame people for making other choices when the current system is so convoluted and inconvenient.

    1. letsgola Post author

      Riding the Purple Line when it’s on 20 minute headways as a shuttle between Wilshire/Vermont and Wilshire/Western is sooo frustrating… I always just end up taking the 20/720. I’m usually going past Western but if you’re coming from downtown and the Purple Line is running normal service, you can usually jump a bus or two by taking it to Western.

      When I was taking the Expo and coming from the Hollywood area, I’d always end up taking the bus on Western or Vermont and transferring to Expo that way… I don’t know how much faster it was but it was definitely better for my sanity 🙂

  2. Matt

    The numbers are ugly. Down year over year and that was down from the year earlier. Even Expo is now below the key 30k rider level per weekday. Hopefully, this is just temporary and not a permanent dip like Metrolink has seen with its ridership below what it was 10 years ago. With major maintenance on the Red, Purple, Blue, Green and Gold Lines this is not helping.

    Will be interesting to see if Metro can stop the ridership dip with all of the projects coming on line in 2016 (WiFi on the Red and Purple Lines and hopefully completing the annoying never ending maintenance on those two lines, finishing the Blue Line refurbishment, the connection between the Red and Orange Lines and new light rail cars arriving). Of course, Expo II and Foothill II will open too and bring in some new ridership. 2016 could be exciting. If it is a disappointment, there is almost no chance of a Measure R+ passing IMHO.

    Hopefully, Metrolink can also stop the bleeding. I like Art Leahy, but he really has his work cut out. When people can’t even buy a ticket to your rail line, you have major problems

    1. letsgola Post author

      I’m thinking about going to 6 months between updates rather than 3 months, until the new lines start coming on. I’m willing to bet that Gold Line 2 will be somewhat underwhelming (no anchors anywhere east of Pasadena *but* long stop spacing and bad traffic on the 210 will at least make it competitive) and that Expo Line 2 will crush expectations.

      Art Leahy seems to be well liked, both among the transit community and the political community, which will hopefully prove to be what’s needed to turn the ship around there. I wish him all the luck he can get…


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