Metro Board Approves $1 Fares, First Service Areas for Ride-Hailing Program

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The fare structure and first service areas for the three-year MicroTransit Pilot Project, a ride-hailing program that will be operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was approved this week by the MTA board.

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 (transfer not included) for the first six months.

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

“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 December. Expected service hours at its start are:

-- Watts/Willowbrook: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends; and

-- LAX/Inglewood: 5 a.m.-10 a.m. and 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Monday thru Friday.

Additional zones set to begin service in 2021 are:

-- Northwest San Fernando Valley;

-- Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Glendale;

-- Altadena/Pasadena/Sierra Madre; and

-- UCLA/VA Medical Center/Century City.

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

Photo: Getty Images

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