LA Metro airport shuttle FlyAway service operates at a deficit

FlyAway bus at Union Station
FlyAway bus at Union Station
LA Wad/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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The bright blue FlyAway buses between transit hubs and Los Angeles International Airport continue to operate in the red.

L.A. County Metro launched the FlyAway as an alternative to cars, taxis, shuttles and public transit lines that don’t quite reach the airport. One-way trips range from $5 on the Westwood route to $25 from Irvine. But those fares don’t begin to cover the service’s operating expenses – so the FlyAway’s running a $4.5 million deficit for the fiscal year that ends next month.

While the routes that serve L.A. Union Station and Van Nuys carry hundreds of thousands of passengers a year to and from L.A. International Airport, the Westwood run averages seven riders a trip. Metro officials told the Daily News that route cost the agency more than $8.5 million in four years.

Even so, airport and Metro officials plan as many as five more FlyAway routes – possibly to and from Valencia, Santa Monica, Culver City and Long Beach. The airport’s legal settlement with airport expansion opponents, three cities and L.A. County requires the expanded FlyAway service.