Man in a suit wearing a mask and carrying a backpack stands and waits for the Metro.

Gas Hike a Litmus Test for Mass Transit, Matute Says

Juan Matute, deputy director of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the impact of soaring gas prices on transit ridership in Los Angeles. The article said many Angelenos are concerned about the number of homeless people and the increase in violent crime on the Metro, which slashed its bus and rail service this year amid a COVID-fueled driver shortage. Many transit planners have argued that the cheap cost of driving vehicles keeps commuters from jumping on a bus or train. Matute noted that the spike in gas prices will now serve as a litmus test for mass transit. “If driving gets 50% more expensive because of the increase in gas prices and you’re not seeing a corresponding increase in ridership, maybe there’s something you have to look at about their service, improving it, whether it be reliability, safety or passenger experience,” Matute said.

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