Today In LA Metro News: Replacing Those Nasty Fabric Seats And Bike Share Backpedaling

Fabric seats on a Metro Los Angeles train. The transit agency is planning to replace some of its upholstered seats with vinyl, citing rider comments and hygiene concerns. (Photo courtesy Metro Los Angeles via Flickr)

If you've ridden the subway or a bus in Los Angeles, you know the seat struggle is real. It's not that there's a lack of seats — Metro's ridership reports show that's definitely not a problem right now. It's the seats themselves.

Is that dark spot on the fabric wet? Do you even want to check? And why are the seats fabric to begin with? You're not alone if you wonder what the transit agency was thinking.

Metro seems to have received the message and is now exploring a program to swap the hygiene-challenged fabric seats for plastic ones on its buses.

In a recent presentation on ridership initiatives, Metro said it has received "frequent public comment" about the condition of its seats and the negative impact on rider experience (no duh). The agency also lists plastic's benefits over upholstery, namely that they are "less prone to fluids," which again, yeah.

A similar program is also planned for the subway, according to the L.A. Times. Metro said the new vinyl seats will even have a hole in them to drain any liquids that end up in them.

People ride a Metro train on March 28, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The seats aren't the only change happening in L.A. County transit. Citing low ridership and high costs, the city of Pasadena is planning to end its bike share program with Metro.

The Pasadena Star-News reports that unanticipated charges from Metro related to the bike program have diminished the city's budget for the transit program, according to a city memo. Because of that, Pasadena says it only has enough money to run the program through the end of July and is preparing to pull out of its contract with the transit agency in the next 60 days.

But bike sharing might still be available in the City of Roses. The city is eying dockless bike sharing, such as LimeBike, the Star-News reports.


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