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Metro CEO: Uber-like 'curb-to-curb' service coming to LA soon

by KPCC Staff | AirTalk®

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The Willowbrook Station along LA Metro's green line. This station is located above ground between the lanes of the Century Freeway. Jeffrey Beall via Flickr

Metro CEO Phil Washington has said the agency is looking into launching a service that's similar to Uber, Lyft, and other popular car services used by millions of people.

Washington mentioned the service during his appearance on AirTalk on Wednesday.

“We also are looking at creating our own Uber-like service … using our vehicles, smaller vehicles, we’re calling this micro-transit," he said. "This will be a curb-to-curb type service. We’ll use our drivers … we’re looking to launch that very, very soon.”

While details such as pricing have yet to be worked out, Washington said Metro's plan for this service is to utilize smaller vehicles, such as vans. Metro would also partner with a private firm to use the technical data from a ... to help us to be able to make reservations and things like that using our vehicles.”

A lot has happened since AirTalk's last check-in with Washington.

Bus service is being targeted by transportation officials as cause for steadily dropping ridership. As reported by the L.A. Times, a survey of more than 2,000 former riders showed that commuters felt the buses didn’t know where they were going.

Now, research is being conducted by Metro to find new ways to improve routes and stops. Then, the “will they, won’t they” saga over the long-disputed 710 Freeway tunnel extension to the 210 finally ended in May, when the Metro Board pulled funding from the project, opting to instead spend $700 million on other transportation issues.

So how what does L.A.’s bus system overhaul look like? And what are some alternative routes to the 710 Freeway extension? Today, Washington is in studio to chat about all this and other local transportation news, including a newly launched bike sharing program in Pasadena. Have a question? Post in the comments below or join the conversation at 866-893-5722.

Check back for updates to this story.


Phil Washington, CEO of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)

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