Can LA Metro recover lost ridership numbers from the pandemic?

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Katrina Kaiser stands in Union Station, their favorite Metro station in LA. Photo by Nisha Venkat.

LA Metro ridership numbers have plummeted since the pandemic began. The transit agency reports that in 2020, just 213 million people used its trains or buses, as opposed to 370 million the year before. This year, Metro’s buses and stations are slow to fill up again, as more people turned to private cars for safety reasons amid the pandemic. To get riders back, Metro is expanding bus services and building new rail stations, but some people think they should improve their existing system instead and focus on the basics, like arriving on time.