L.A. County transit officials focus on boosting ridership to pre-pandemic levels

Local news
Metro Blue Line riders exit a train at Pico station on March 26, 2020. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Metro Blue Line riders exit a train at Pico station on March 26, 2020. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

With the threat of COVID-19 receding, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to focus on boosting ridership levels that fell 70% during the pandemic and expanding transit service to low-income communities, according to top transit officials at the agency’s annual State of the Agency event.

For the first time in its 28-year history, the agency will be led by two women: Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who is Metro board chair, and Chief Executive Stephanie Wiggins. They said they will share responsibility for making the $8-billion agency more equitable and accessible after a devastating pandemic.

“The truth of the matter is that the pandemic exposed and exacerbated structural inequities across the county but also the country, from homelessness to housing to health disparities and more,” Solis said. “And we have to ask ourselves, what role can Metro play in addressing these issues and what can we do better?”

Solis, Wiggins and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the outgoing Metro board chair, pointed to the pain of the last year while also emphasizing the promise of the future.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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