Compared to pre-pandemic levels of 1.2M people a day, LA Metro ridership currently around half

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Although L.A.'s Metro service was never shut down during the pandemic, it was scaled back and ridership did decrease.

Before the pandemic, Metro was averaging about 1.2 million people a day between its buses and rail lines systemwide. It's now at about half that.

Despite California's wide reopening, which allows people to ditch face masks in most settings, riders will still be required to wear masks on public transportation for at least three more months.

That goes for all riders - whether they're vaccinated or not. The guidance from the Transportation Security Administration also applies to airports.

Metro says they aren't expecting a huge difference in ridership on Tuesday, but they do expect numbers to rebound as we get further out of the pandemic.

On June 27, service hours will be increased on the Metro bus lines and by September, the plan is to return both bus and rail line service to pre-pandemic levels.

As for enforcing mask-wearing, Metro officials say they're focusing on educating riders, but they don't expect compliance to be an issue.

"We have been doing regular spot checks throughout the pandemic, just to see what compliance has been like and to our riders' credit, there have been very few issues and the vast majority of our riders have been wearing masks," said Metro spokesperson Brian Haas.

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