Metro Transit’s rail lines are on pace to have another record year.
Ridership on the Green Line, Blue Line and Northstar Commuter Rail Line is ahead of last year’s totals through the first half of 2018. All three rail lines saw record ridership in 2017.
Northstar has seen the largest increase in ridership, which is up 5 percent through the end of June. Ridership on the Green Line is up 2.6 percent and ridership on the Blue Line is up 1 percent.
“Growing rail ridership is an indication that this region appreciates reliable, high frequency transit,” General Manager Brian Lamb said. “We’re thrilled to serve so many members of our community and look forward to building on this success moving forward.”
Systemwide, more than 39.6 million rides have been taken through the end of June. Total ridership is down 2.6 percent compared to the first half of last year.
Gains in rail ridership have been offset by declining bus ridership, which is down 4.6 percent this year. The region’s first rapid bus line, the A Line, has seen a 5 percent increase in ridership compared to last year.
Metro Transit is focused on building bus ridership by expanding service in areas with strong demand, improving customer facilities and focusing on speed and reliability.
In June, limited stop Route 54 service was introduced to St. Paul’s East Side, providing customers a one-seat ride from Maplewood Mall to the Mall of America. Service has also been expanded on routes serving the Interstate 35W corridor, providing travelers a stress-free way of getting around during road construction.
In August, Route 2 will become a faster, more reliable and attractive service with the elimination of nearly 30 stops with relatively few boardings and new waiting shelters in key locations. Route 2 will be further improved next year with signal technology that prioritizes buses at intersections.
In 2019, the region’s second rapid bus line, the C Line, will bring enhanced stations, fully-electric buses and faster, more frequent service to a key corridor now served by Route 19.
“We are doing everything we can to deliver the fast, frequent and reliable bus service our customers deserve,” Lamb said. “As the A Line has shown, quality bus service can and will succeed in our region.”
Metro Transit’s total annual ridership has grown in 10 of the past 13 years and is at its highest level in three decades.
Compared to 2017