MTA to cut several bus lines this year

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Riders on a half-dozen Metro Rapid bus lines will need to adjust their commutes come mid-December. Los Angeles County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted today to drop those routes.

Metro’s staff and board studied how many people use the Rapid Bus express lines, and how often. That survey led to the end of lines 711 between Inglewood and Bell Garden; line 714 between Beverly Hills and downtown L.A.; and line 715 from L.A. International Airport to Downey.

Also on the chopping block: line 753 to and from downtown L.A. and the Imperial/Wilmington Blue Line station; the 920 ultra-rapid along Wilshire Boulevard; and weekend service on line 750 from the Warner Center transit hub to the Universal City Red Line station.

Metro pledges to enhance service on the local bus lines along those routes. But the cuts that take effect December 12 illustrate a chicken-and-egg problem.

In Los Angeles it’s hard to get people out of their cars, and even when ridership is up, fares don’t cover the cost of public buses and trains. But cutting service – a move Metro says will save $30 million next year – discourages people from exchanging their car keys for fare cards.