Southern California Bus System Cuts Costs to Compete with L.A. Metro Light Rail
After data showed that L.A. Metro's recently extended Gold Line has been poaching riders from commuter rail as well as from local buses, Foothill Transit—a small bus agency serving the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys—has cited the light rail line as one reason behind its first fare hike in seven years.
To save on costs stemming in part from declining ridership, the agency is implementing an extensive restructuring of routes. Some lines will be eliminated or split, while lines around the Gold Line will be reconfigured to "move riders to and from the light-rail train instead of to their ultimate destination."
Pasadena Star News reports that while fares have gone up nearly across the board, "a student 31-day pass on the popular Silver Streak line has gone up a whopping 44 percent, from $52 to $75." There will also be a second fare increase in September 2019.
The first round of fare increases are expected to increase revenue by 7 percent, with the second phase yielding another 10 percent increase. The route changes are expected to recoup $588,000. Another extension of the Gold Line to Montclair is in the works.