Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

LA Metro continues push for more riders by offering discounts, incentives

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Emily Chu

Metro now has approximately 300 partnerships with L.A. businesses to help promote ridership on their lines.

Metro continues its campaign to bump up ridership by offering incentives for Angelenos to ride the public transit system. From discounts on local events to specials at retail stores and restaurants, Metro users are often rewarded for riding.

“People love discounts, it doesn’t matter in what form or fashion it is,” said Fran Curbello, Communications Manager for Metro.

Curbello said Metro's been building their incentive program for about the last 15 years. They started by working with a few select businesses and now have approximately 300 different partnerships with organizations throughout the city and county.

She explains the strategy this way: Riders get rewarded for using their TAP card, businesses get advertising through Metro and Metro (hopefully) gets more riders.

The latest partnership is with Street Food Cinema, a movie screening series that begins this weekend in South L.A. The weekly event will be held mostly in Exposition Park, and include an outdoor movie, a live musical performance and an abundance of food trucks. 

And if you take Metro to the event, you can save $3 on admission by presenting a TAP card at the ticketing entrance. Conveniently enough, the screenings are held a stones throw from the Expo Line's Expo Park/USC station, in front of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Parking for the event costs $10, so Metro riders will dodge that additional cost as well. 

The debut Street Food event is Saturday, May 25. The movie will be "Stand by Me," and starring actor Corey Feldman, in the flesh, will be there to perform with his band before the show.

Curbello said that while incentives may encourage people to take Metro to a specific event or location, once they're on the system they'll see how many other major venues and hotspots public transit can access. 

The debut Street Food event is Saturday, May 25. The movie will be "Stand by Me," and starring actor Corey Feldman, in the flesh, will be there to perform with his band before the show.

Many of Metro's recent promotions are related to events near the approximately year-old Expo Line. In January, Metro offered a discount on admission to the Natural History Museum's First Friday series. The museum is located between two Expo line stops. For this event, the museum stays open late and hosts an array of bands (as well as a bar), and attracts a different demographic than is typically there for weekday school field trips.

Metro hosts an updated list on their website of all current promotions, which include deals on Dodgers games, California Science Center admission and the 24th Street Theatre.

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