L.A. Metro’s new ride-hailing service will take to the streets of Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre this weekend with introductory fares of $1, according to the agency.
The new service will be implemented along with changes to L.A. Metro’s bus routes in the area as part of the second phase of Metro’s NextGen Bus Plan to streamline service throughout the region.
Starting with an introductory fare of a single dollar, riders can use a mobile app or website to call for a ride anywhere within the newly established Metro Micro Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre service zone, Metro spokesman Brian Haas explained. Users must have either a TAP card or a debit or credit card to make payment.
“It’s a ride-hailing service, where within a zone, you can hail a ride from one spot to another. The start and end points have to be within the zone,” he said.
The system uses vans rather than buses and operates in a manner not unlike rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft.
“It is a shared ride. So, basically, it’s sort of like larger transport vans that come by, they pick you up,” Haas said.
Once service begins on Sunday, Metro Micro will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week.
“We wanted to provide a new, flexible, affordable service to get people around these various zones,” according to Haas. “For example, within this particular zone, there’s not a ton of bus service necessarily in some of the areas like Altadena. Metro Micro can step in and provide some of those transit rides using an app. So, if you need to get from Altadena to somewhere downtown, Pasadena Playhouse District, for example, you can hail a ride for a dollar within that zone.”
Destinations available via the new service include Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena City College, Caltech, Old Pasadena and connections to Metro’s L (Gold) Line, according to the agency.
The ultimate goal of the NextGen plan is improved service and experience for riders, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins said.
“The NextGen program is a major enhancement of Metro’s bus network that demonstrates the benefits of a holistic, network-based approach that will benefit riders for decades to come,” she said. “We are excited about the roll-out of Phase 2 and what it will do for our customers. Other transit agencies around the country have inquired how they can model our NextGen in their own systems.”
L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Vice Chair Hilda Solis said she, too, was eager to see the improvements take shape.
“The continued implementation of NextGen, expansion of MicroTransit and installation of bus lanes is critical, especially as we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic,” Solis said.
“These efforts will help provide more frequent and faster mobility options to our transit riders, predominantly serving communities of color,” Solis said. “When we invest in public transit, we are making a commitment to supporting our communities.”
Rides can be booked online at micro.metro.net, as well as through Android and Apple mobile apps offered for download on the website, or by calling (323) GO METRO.