Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC

What Explains Recent Trends in Southern California Bus Ridership?

Project Number


Project Summary

Despite several policy interventions, bus ridership in Southern California is continuing to fall. For example, the bus ridership of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) dropped by almost 19% although some improvement was observed recently on some revamped lines. A number of factors have been invoked to explain this decline, including changes in employment, demographics, housing, technology, and possibly an increase in vehicle registrations tied to AB 60. However, there has been no scholarly analysis of the impact of AB 60 on bus ridership in Southern California. The objective of this study is therefore to analyze how recent (2014 to 2017) changes in bus ridership can be explained by changes in vehicle registrations resulting partly from the implementation of California Assembly Bill 60 (AB-60) in 2015 and from the introduction (where applicable) of mobile ticketing, after controlling for changes in transit supply, socio-economic variables, gas prices, and the built environment. Although this study focuses on Long Beach Transit (LBT) and OCTA, our methodology and our findings will provide valuable insights for managing transit in similar areas.

Project Status

In progress



Topic Area

Urban Mobility

P.I. Name & Address

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California Irvine

Funding Source: UC ITS Mobility Research Program (SB1)

Funding Amount: $58,754.00

Start and End Dates: January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020