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MTA ‘Microtransit’ Service to Come to Pasadena, Altadena Next Year

Published on Monday, October 26, 2020 | 11:58 am
 
A map of the preliminary routes for the new MTA MicroTransit Pilot Project, expected to roll out in Pasadena in 2021. (Credit: Metropolitan Transit Authority)

The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Microtransit Pilot Project ride-hailing program trial is expected to be rolled out to Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre next year, following the approval of the first phases of the project by the MTA Board of Directors last week.

Metro Micro will offer on-demand, shared ride service for short trips within designated service zones in Los Angeles County at an introductory rate of $1 per ride, not including transfer, for the first six months.

“It’s our job to provide Angelenos with affordable and accessible ways to move around our city and region,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

“Metro Micro will bring the convenience of ride-share technology at a fraction of the cost, which will mean less congestion on our streets, cleaner air, and another way to get the most out of our transit systems.”

Metro officials said staff members will return to the board at the end of the six-month introductory period to consider potential fare adjustments.

The technology behind the project will allow riders to plan entire trips — both on Metro Micro and their bus and train ride — using real-time booking through a mobile app, internet browser, or Metro’s call center.

Riders will be able to pay for the service by using their TAP card and TAP account or with a debit, credit, or prepaid credit card.

Service in Metro Micro’s first two zones is planned to begin in Watts, Willowbrook, and Inglewood.

Additional service zones in 2021 will include Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glendale, the Northwest San Fernando Valley, and Century City.

The MTA board voted to approve the initial service areas and fare on Thursday.

In February, the Metro board awarded a $29 million contract to the ride-hail company RideCo Inc. to operate Metro Micro.

This three-year pilot project is designed to replace short, solo trips by offering a flexible, on-demand service operated by Metro employees in vehicles that hold up to 10 passengers, Metro officials said.

“Metro is pushing the envelope in order to give people more affordable, flexible options to get around Los Angeles County without driving alone,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be launching this new, convenient service to serve the people in and around Watts, Willowbrook, Lynwood, Inglewood, and the people who work in and around LAX.”

Metro Micro is being designed alongside the agency’s NextGen Bus Plan to expand ride-hailing technology to all public transit customers, including historically underserved neighborhoods and areas of Los Angeles County where fixed-route bus or rail service is less frequent or unavailable, Metro officials said.

Similar to other pilot projects, Metro Micro staff will continually adjust service based on demand and real-time results from data collected during operations.

Metro Micro vehicles will be operated by the agency’s employees who are extensively screened before they are hired and will receive specialized safety training, including how to protect against COVID-19, the agency stated.

More information on the MicroTransit Pilot Program is at metro.net/micro.

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