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Los Angeles County Metro Rail ridership is down from 2010, but bus ridership is up from 2010

Los Angeles County Metro Rail ridership is down from 2010, but bus ridership is up from 2010

Female ridership down on L.A. Metro, and satisfaction of buses, trains falls, survey shows.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A year after Los Angeles County’s Metro Rail system experienced a surge in ridership, the number of people who commuted by bus on the county’s local bus system this year was down from 2011, according to the transit agency’s annual ridership survey released Wednesday.

The ridership of the Metro Rail, bus and other regional bus services dropped 9.5 percent from the year before. Ridership of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which includes the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, is up 0.9 percent in 2011 and continues to climb each year.

The transit agency said 7,859,082 people took advantage of its services last year, down from 8,539,828 in 2010.

But the ridership is also down from a year ago. This year’s ridership, which includes weekend riders who ride the Metro Rail, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department shuttle and county buses, was 6,868,955, down from 7,010,056 in 2010.

The ridership of public transit is declining statewide. That trend is reflected in a study by the Transit Riders Council of California and the Center for Urban Research and Education at UC Berkeley.

Among transit agencies, only the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operating the Metro Rail and Santa Monica Airport Express bus routes, reported an increase in ridership.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s ridership, at 2,824,000, was 19 percent higher than last year’s total and higher than its 2,567,000 fare-paying passengers in 2010.

The bus agency said it also had 2,824,000 boardings in 2011 — down somewhat from 7,859,082 this year.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that ridership fell, by 763,000 from 2010. In comparison, the countywide total of public transit increased by 6.3 percent.

“We continue to serve thousands of people a day, but ridership is trending downward,” said Metro Rail General Manager Richard Cushman. “While the decline in this survey is disappointing, it does not necessarily indicate a problem with our organization or operations. The ridership decline from last year, while disappointing, is not evidence of anything out of the ordinary

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