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Metro Micro: a shared ride in Los Angeles for a dollar

Time to Read: 5 minute
Metro Micro a shared ride in Los Angeles for a dollar
Metro Micro a shared ride in Los Angeles for a dollar
Khushbu Kumari

It works through an application and is ideal for short trips and connecting with buses and Metro trains

Cesar Hernandez's favorite thing about working as a Metro Micro driver in Los Angeles County is transporting people from the community.

“I view passengers as my family and my community. I take students to their homes or to school and the women to work,” says Cesar, a resident of the Boyle Heights neighborhood, who will be driving a Metro Micro for two years.

Since the end of 2020, The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) launched a new Uber and Lyft-style shared transportation service that operates through an application to reserve Micro Van vehicles that cover 8 routes or zones within Los Angeles County. Its cost is only one dollar.

“The first route I drove was Watts-Compton, then Altadena-Pasadena-Sierra Madre, then El Monte and for the last 4 months I've been in Highland Park-Eagle Rock-Glendale,” says Cesar.

And he explains that the trip to the final point of the route covers up to 12 miles that can take between 15 and 45 minutes depending on where the passenger is going.

Cesar shows how the Metro Micro brings space to the front of the vehicle to transport bicycle passengers.

“People have liked this service because it is super easy to take the buses, and it saves them having to transfer to several buses”.

Each Micro unit has space for up to 8 passengers; and for security reasons it is equipped with 7 video cameras inside and outside the vehicle.

“You have to meet all the requirements, such as when you get in your car, put on your seat belt and if you have children, they must take their seat. Safety first,” she says.

To buy the Micro ticket, people have to download the app on their phone, visit or call 323-466-3876 to book a trip, and add the x2 if they want have them answer in Spanish.

You can pay in the application with a credit card or with the money stored on the TAP card.

The buses operate from Monday to Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The first two rides are free when you register at

Short commutes

Rani Narul-Woods, superintendent of Metro's Strategic Initiatives, said they were inspired by companies like Uber and Lyft to create the micro van service, which they named Metro Micro.

“We learned something from those companies to improve our service on the Metro, and we decided to create a new program with Ford Transit-150 vehicles very similar to what Amazon Prime uses, but instead of packages, we move people.”

So he explained that the concept was to have a fleet of vehicles to take people on short, two-day trips five miles away.

“It's about really focusing on providing a local transportation service in the neighborhood, and if you liked the experience, you would share it with your neighbors.”

They talk about how they started working on the project Metro Micro in 2017, and launched in December 2020, in the midst of the health crisis caused by covid-19.

“We started with 16 vehicles in two zones Watts-Willowbrook and LAX-Inglewood; and in less than 45 days, we added three additional routes. By the end of January 2021, we had 5 routes;

He pointed out that among all the areas that the Metro Micro transports people, they cover 165 miles in Los Angeles County, which includes 21 cities and unincorporated areas with a fleet that started with 16 vehicles and now has 85 with close to 150 operators on the front line.

“I cannot be more proud of all those workers like César who, in the midst of the pandemic, agreed to be drivers and work on the front line of exposure to covid.”

Currently one of the job requirements is two years of customer service experience because they know that the driver's interactions with passengers are going to be very important.

“We want every interaction to be positive and friendly. And what we've seen in 30 months that customers have given us 4.8 out of 5 stars in more than a million boardings.”

Cesar says that his relationship with passengers is so good that in Accion Thanksgiving, they took him to give away food.

ADA vehicles are available for people with special needs. (Courtesy Metro) ADA vehicles are available for people with special needs. (Courtesy Metro).

Superintendent Narul-Woods thinks that people have liked the service because it is very safe and the Metro Micros are very clean.

The routes of the Micro Vans are: Watts-Compton, LAX -Inglewood, North Hollywood-Burbank, El Monte, Highland Park-Eagle Rock-Glendale, Altadena-Pasadena-Sierra Madre, Northwest San Fernando Valley and UCLA-Westwood-VA Medical Center.

It should be said that this Metro Micro program also offers the service of ADA Vans, units that allow people with disabilities to ride with everything and their wheelchairs.


Aristoteles Rodriguez, a young and frequent Metro Micro passenger, says that the service is very good, but he would like it to include more routes to where to be able to go.

“I like it a lot but I feel like it's very limited. They need more routes like from Glendale to downtown LA, to Burbank or cities that are next to it and that would mean a short trip.”

Angela Mendoza, who also frequently boards the Metro Micro, agrees that the service is very good and the vehicles are very clean, but she needs – she says more locations.

“I like that everything is online, that they give you the option to pay by card or when you get on. My only complaint is that it has happened a couple of times that my trip is canceled and I have to wait an hour to take the next bus; but apart from that detail, I am very happy to have a transportation option like the Metro Micro in Los Angeles. Something very good for those of us who don't have a car and depend on public transportation like the Metro.”

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