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Report: Pasadena Transit Edges Towards Pre-Pandemic Ridership, Carried 1.1 Million Riders in 2022

Published on Monday, May 22, 2023 | 5:30 am

The Pasadena Department of Transportation will present an overview of its transit programs to the Municipal Services Committee on Tuesday, May 23. The presentation will include information on ridership, funding, and opportunities for improvement.

Laura Rubio-Cornejo, Pasadena’s Director of Transportation, is scheduled to deliver the presentation.  The meeting will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber of Pasadena City Hall, located at 100 North Garfield Avenue.

Cornejo will report that ridership on Pasadena Transit remained strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In fiscal year 2022, the system carried over 1.1 million riders, which is 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Pasadena Dial-A-Ride ridership has also been recovering, with over 44,000 rides taken in fiscal year 2022, according to a Committee agenda documents.

The Department operates two transit programs: Pasadena Transit and Pasadena Dial-A-Ride.

Pasadena Transit serves as the City’s local fixed-route public transit system. Pasadena Dial-A-Ride, on the other hand, offers appointment-based shared ride services for seniors aged 60+ and individuals with disabilities who live here.

Ridership on Pasadena Transit is high enough that an  August 2022 driver shortage resulted in a service reduction, according to the City document.

During certain times of the day, demand exceeds capacity, and ridership is expected to increase further as full service is restored in the summer of 2023, according to Department information.

The Pasadena Dial-A-Ride program played a crucial role in providing transportation services for vulnerable populations during the pandemic. Essential medical trips, special grocery store trips, food deliveries, and support for unhoused individuals were among the essential services offered. 

Since emerging from the pandemic, Dial-A-Ride ridership has been gradually recovering, and staff anticipates further growth as activity centers for this population resume and stabilize.

As Pasadena Transit and Pasadena Dial-A-Ride continue to rebuild ridership and adapt to changing travel trends, the Department of Transportation is actively monitoring the recovery and exploring opportunities to enhance services, improve efficiencies, and enhance the overall customer experience, according to the presentation.

The presentation will include a cost-effectiveness comparison to same-day on-demand transit programs and an analysis of complementary on-demand service programs.

The overview will also touch upon funding sources for both programs. 

Pasadena Transit receives 68% of its budget from local return funds, primarily LA County transit sales tax funds, without any general fund allocation. The remaining 32% of the budget comes from Metro incentive funding programs, farebox revenue, and bus shelter advertising revenue. 

For Pasadena Dial-A-Ride, 55% of the budget is sourced from Prop A Local funds, while the remaining 45% comes from Prop A Subregional funds, federal grants, reimbursements from LA County and San Marino, and farebox revenue.

The presentation will highlight other transit programs that have utilized Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and explore their cost-effectiveness. Examples such as the Santa Monica MODE Program for Seniors, Go Monrovia & Monrovia Transit, and Metro Micro will be examined to provide insights into potential opportunities for Pasadena’s transit services.

Furthermore, the overview will discuss ongoing efforts, including the Short Range Transit Plan process and an analysis of complementary on-demand service programs. These initiatives aim to inform future planning and funding decisions while ensuring compliance with ADA and Title VI regulations.

The Department of Transportation remains committed to improving service effectiveness, efficiency, and meeting the evolving needs of the community. The overview presentation will provide a comprehensive look at the current state of Pasadena’s transit programs and lay the foundation for future developments in the city’s transportation infrastructure.

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