Karen Bass has been appointed as chair of the LA Metro ©Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has taken over as chair of the city's Metro as she aims to ensure that the 2028 Olympic Games are car-free.

The 69-year-old's appointment was made official at a ceremony inside Union Station's ticketing hall.

She has been on the Metro Board for seven months and wants to increase ridership, move homeless people away from trains and stations, improve rider wait times, and make the system safer.

In June, Metro opened the 1.9-mile regional connector with three new stations that facilitate transfer-free rides from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

Bass said the body is preparing for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the city's hosting of games at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

"By 2028, we will have 130 miles of rail, 121 stations, 71 miles of busways and more than 100 miles of bus priority lanes," Bass said, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.

"And the cleanest bus fleets ever." 

Ridership on the entire network reached around 900,000 boardings every weekday.

Karen Bass is aiming to make Los Angeles 2028 car-free ©Getty Images
Karen Bass is aiming to make Los Angeles 2028 car-free ©Getty Images

Although the number has risen in 11 of the last 12 months, they are still at about 77 per cent of 2019 levels.

"Ridership is still down and the reduction is disproportionately among women who report they do not feel safe," Bass said.

"We absolutely want to make sure we are expanding ridership and making it safer for women.

"Women have dropped off significantly because of perceived safety issues. 

"We have to work on that."

LA Metro has partnered with Los Angeles County to help fund events at transportation hubs, in county parks and blocked off streets to attract tourists and locals during the Games.

The County is hoping to secure federal and state grants to help LA Metro meet its $10 million (£7.9 million/€9.1 million) budget for Los Angeles 2028 side events that are set to emulate the last time the Californian city hosted the Games.

The 1984 Olympics were preceded by the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival, a 10-week event of visual arts, murals, theatre, dance, and music that welcomed 1.25 million visitors.