SANTA MONICA— Santa Monica, Hollywood, and a large amount of Southern California has seen a significant decrease in public and private transportation since COVID-19 lockdowns began, as is detailed in a Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) report released on Monday, August 10.
Within Santa Monica, year over year monthly Big Blue Bus ridership decreased by 29.5% in March, 73.1% in April, and 73.6% in May. For comparison, in January and February of 2020 monthly Big Blue Bus ridership increased 6.6% and 9.4% respectively, compared to 2019.
On a holistic level for Southern California, vehicle miles traveled in high capacity roads and highway networks decreased almost 80% since January, bus ridership has declined 71%, and aviation passenger demand in the region has dropped over 90% from the previous year.
Within the Los Angeles area, bike share use was 39% lower in June 2020 than in June 2019. Vehicle miles traveled compared to January also dropped to -80% in mid-April, however, have seen a steady uprise since. The LA Metro also saw a decrease in ridership in March, April, and May compared to the same time last year.
In the SCAG region, total airport passengers decreased 4% in February, 57% in March, and 96% in April. Air Cargo, measured in tons, decreased anywhere between 0% to 3% during the same time period. Information for specific airports in the SCAG region was not available in the report.
As part of their report and comparisons, the SCAG COVID-19 transportation impact report used dates from “passenger, freight/cargo, and vehicle movement on the region’s highways, roads, rail, and transit systems.” The counties included in the SCAG report are Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial.
SCAG’s mission statement is, “To foster innovative regional solutions that improve the lives of Southern Californians through inclusive collaboration, visionary planning, regional advocacy, information sharing, and promoting best practices.”