Examining the L.A. Metro Rail: A Needs-based Transportation Analysis L.A. County Public Transportation Need Index
Introduction The planned expansion of the Los Angeles Metro Rail promises to provide Angelinos with access to an alternate form of public transportation. However, some critics of the L.A. Metro Rail believe that the expanding network will primarily serve tourist destinations and powerful economic hubs rather than supporting the residents most in need of access to public transportation. The goal of this research is to determine if the residents most in need of public transportation will benefit from the expansion of the L.A. Metro Rail.
Public Transportation Need Index Score Descriptions
a c i n o ta M
Maximum Need No Access to a Personal Vehicle Use of Public Transportation to Work High Population Density
Household Income Below County Average
Four variables from the 2010 American Community Survey were used to create a transportation needs index. Each varviable was weighed based upon its relevance for determining a communityâ€™s need for public transportation. The resulting scores helped identify the census tracts in L.A. County most in need of access to public transportation.
Minimal Need Sufficient Access to a Personal Vehicle No Use of Public Transportation to Work Low Population Density Household Income Above County Average
Existing Metro Lines Existing Metro Lines Proposed Metro Lines Maximum Need
Tracts with Maximum Need Crenshaw Corridor Buffers 10 Miles
1. South L.A Study Area
Take Public Transportation to Work
No Access to a Personal Vehicle Less than 5%
Public Transportation Need Index Weighted Variables
South L.A. Study Area
Expo Line Extension Buffers
Study Areas Comparative Analysis
The primary study area for this project consists of thirty census tracts in South L.A. The site was evaluated along with two neighborhoods near future rail line extensions (Expo Line & Crenshaw Corridor) in order to compare demographic information and selected variables.
Less than 3%
5% - 10%
4% - 6%
10% - 16%
7% - 9%
16% - 31%
10% - 14%
Residents Without Access to a Personal Vehicle 40%
Existing Stations Buffers
Transportation Analysis Quarter mile buffers were placed around existing and future rail stations to identify the primary areas serviced by the Los Angeles Metro Rail. This analysis reveals that the South L.A. study area will continue to be undeserved by the growing metro network even though it will soon be surrounded by rail lines on all sides.
Public Transportation Need Index Minimal Need Low Need
Moderate Need Maximum Need
o M a t n Sa
2. Crenshaw Study Area
Extension to L.A.X. Population: 83,612 Median Income: $44,885
Residents Who Take Public Transportation to Work 30%
South L.A. 0
Median Household Income Compared to County Average
Population Density per square mile 3,000 - 13,500 people
Population Density 20% L.A.X.
3. Expo LineStudy Area Extension to Santa Monica Population: 57,336 Median Income: $67,601
Proposed Metro Lines
No Planned Development Population: 125,436 Median Income: $28,581
Los Angeles Metro Service Areas Detail
Above County Average
13,501 - 20,000 people
75% - 100% of County Avg.
20,001 - 24,000 people
41% - 75% of County Avg.
24,001 - 38,300 people
31% - 41% of County Avg.
Median Household Income 10%
The South L.A. study area indicated the highest need for public transportation.
Center for the Study of Los Angeles Loyola Marymount University
This research concludes that the Los Angeles Metro Rail does not effectively connect the residents most in need of public transportation to the greater transit network. Although residents in South L.A. indicated a maximum need for public transportation they remain outside of a reasonable walking distance from any single station. This reveals that the Los Angeles Metro Rail will remain inaccessible to the entire South L.A. neighborhood except via multi-modal transit.