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Metro Board Approves June Bus Service Cuts

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By a 7 to 6 vote this morning, Metro's Board of Directors approved the proposal to cut bus services, effective June 26th, reports The Source. The cuts will eliminate some lines and shorten others, with a goal of addressing cost efficiency and low ridership. Metro believes they will save $32 million annually thanks to the cuts, which will help the transit organization balance their budget.

Among those opposed to the cuts, and submitting a "no" vote, was Board Member and L.A. City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who says he is not convinced these cuts will improve Metro's bus service efficiency. He was joined in opposition by Richard Katz, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mel Wilson, Jose Huizar and Gloria Molina, notes the Source, with Pam O’Connor, Zev Yarolsavsky, Ara Najarian, Mike Antonovich, Don Knabe, Diane DuBois and John Fasana providing the seven "yes" votes.

Recently, Metro justified these bus service reductions by not only citing low ridership on certain lines, but pointing towards the increased use of rail, and the rail system's current expansion.

Some numbers:
- About 300,000 hours of service annually will be eliminated
- 212 Metro employees will be "reallocated" to "improve the cleanliness and maintenance of buses and to work on a real-time system to improve on-time performance."
- The lines that will be entirely discontinued are the 26, 247, 445, 634 and 757; other lines impacted include the 71, 94, 96, 155, 217, 230, 254, 450x, 485, 577, 751, 757, 760 and 794. (The Source has a link to the .PDF of a report that details the specific line changes.)