MTA Told to Add 125 Buses

Times Staff Writer

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was ordered Wednesday to put an extra 125 buses into daily rush-hour service by a federal mediator monitoring the transit agency.

Mediator Donald T. Bliss, a Washington lawyer overseeing a federal decree requiring the MTA to provide better bus service, ordered the extra buses to help ease overcrowding.

Over the last year, Bliss has repeatedly issued findings that the MTA is in violation of standards in the decree that limit the number of passengers forced to stand. The MTA, the nation’s third-largest transit agency, carries about 1.1 million bus riders a day across 3,300 miles of routes in Los Angeles County.

The transit agency and the Bus Riders Union, an activist group that spearheaded a civil rights lawsuit charging the MTA with neglecting the bus system, agree on the number of extra buses needed to meet crowding standards.


But the two sides, which settled the lawsuit by signing the 10-year decree in 1996, disagree on important details.

The riders union wants 125 new buses added to the MTA’s fleet of roughly 2,300. The MTA wants to buy 55 new vehicles and use 70 from little-used routes to make up the difference.