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L.A. buses, trains free on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Metro commuters ride an escalator.
Commuters ride an escalator at the North Hollywood station. Train and bus fares will be waived for late-night Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve riders.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Metro trains and buses will be free on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

But service will not extend past 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, as it has in years past, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority announced earlier this week.

With the Omicron variant fueling a rise in COVID-19 cases, the New Year’s Eve celebration in Grand Park, which typically draws large crowds to downtown L.A., has been scaled back to a live-streaming event for the second year in a row.

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The Grand Park event had already been limited to an invitation-only list of front-line workers and first responders.

A growing number of holiday events in Los Angeles County have been canceled or postponed amid a rash of new coronavirus cases.

Normal weekday bus and train schedules will be in effect on New Year’s Eve.

After 8 p.m., trains will run roughly every 20 minutes, with the last trains departing around midnight.

Fare gates will be unlatched, and money will not be deducted from TAP cards.

On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, trains will operate on a holiday schedule.

On New Year’s Day, additional trains will run on the Gold Line to accommodate riders heading to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena.

Metro will also provide shuttles to a post-parade float viewing area in Victory Park.

The shuttles will run from the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line stop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 1 and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 2.

Ridership on Metro has not reached pre-pandemic levels but has rebounded to about 843,000 weekday daily riders from a low of about 363,800.

In October, Metro launched a pilot program to offer free bus and train rides to K-12 and community college students.

Masks are required on buses and trains. Riders should keep a distance from others when possible and avoid boarding if feeling sick.

Metro Bike Share is also offering free 30-minute rides from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2.


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