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As Public Transport Ridership Dwindles, L.A. Metro Offering Car-Sharing Service for Rides to Stations

A Metro rider waits for an Orange Line bus at the North Hollywood station. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A Metro rider waits for an Orange Line bus at the North Hollywood station. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Angelenos can now make connections between metro station parking lots using a car-sharing app to rent and drive a car to the desired station, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a news release.

Users can find a nearby car, book it and unlock it through the app, with prices beginning at $5 per hour depending on the vehicle type, Metro said.

The new transportation feature is a result of a partnership between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Getaround, a San Francisco-based car-sharing app, which is licensed to occupy 110 parking spaces at 27 L.A. Metro station lots.

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair, Sheila Kuehl, called the new feature a ” win-win.”

“Getaround will help riders travel from their Metro station to their destination conveniently, while offering other Metro riders, whose cars go unused, an opportunity to make a little cash on the side,” Kuehl said.

The partnership comes as cities and their transportation agencies across the U.S. are seeing a decline in public transport ridership as ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft grow in popularity.

In L.A. County, more people have been buying cars than before, adding to a traffic congestion problem as car-ownership outpaced population growth, according to a study by the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.

Between 2012 and 2016, California lost 62.2 million annual transit rides, the study said.

“We must continue to look for new and innovative ways to combat roadway congestion while providing smart ways for people to travel to and from our stations,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said.

Every shared car takes about 10 vehicles out of gridlock, and every 1,000 vehicles shared alleviates up to 50 million pounds of carbon dioxide, according to the University of California Transportation Sustainability Research Center.

Metro said that if the new partnership with Getaround is successful, the agency may consider adding additional park-and-ride spots later this year.

The service is available at the following stations:

  • Expo Line: 17th Street/SMC Station, Expo/Bundy Station, Expo/Sepulveda Station, La Cienega/Jefferson Station.
  • Gold Line: Lincoln/Cypress Station, Heritage Square Station, Sierra Madre Villa Station.
  • Green Line: Redondo Beach Station, El Segundo Station, Aviation/LAX Station, Hawthorne/Lennox Station, Crenshaw Station, Vermont/Athens Station.
  • Orange Line: Sherman Way Station, Canoga Station, Pierce College Station, Reseda Station, Balboa Station, Sepulveda Station, Van Nuys Station.
  • Red Line: North Hollywood Station, Universal City Station, Westlake/MacArthur Station.
  • Blue Line: Artesia Station, Del Amo Station, Wardlow Station, Willow Station.

All the vehicles have collision and liability insurance for every trip, L.A. Metro said.

Residents interested in listing their cars to be shared through Getaround can visit get.co/sharemetro.

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