L.A. Is Hemorrhaging Bus Riders – Worsening Traffic and Threatening Achievement of Climate Goals

Yurithza Esparza's journey from Boyle Heights to Cal State Northridge involves three buses and a train. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Yurithza Esparza’s journey from Boyle Heights to Cal State Northridge involves three buses and a train. (Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To be on time for her 9 a.m. class at Cal State Northridge, Yurithza Esparza has learned the hard way that she needs to be at the bus stop no later than 6 a.m.

A Los Angeles Times graphic shows how Metro bus ridership has dropped over the last decade.

A Los Angeles Times graphic shows how Metro bus ridership has dropped over the last decade.

She would prefer to drive the 30 miles from her home in Boyle Heights, but the car she saved to buy was totaled when another driver ran a red light. So she is back on public transit, taking three buses and a train to get to school.

“Driving here is a pain because of the traffic, but it’s still more convenient,” said Esparza, 23, who can spend five hours a day commuting. “On the bus, I just can’t get from Point A to Point B whenever I need to go. I hate it.”

Over the last decade, both Los Angeles County’s sprawling Metro system and smaller lines have hemorrhaged bus riders as passengers have fled for more convenient options — mostly, driving.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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