Transit ridership hit a 57-year high last year, according to a new report from the American Public Transportation Association.
Americans took nearly 10.7 billion trips in 2013 according to the industry group. That marked a 1 percent increase from 2012 and was the highest ridership since 1956. It was also the tenth straight year transit ridership topped 10 billion rides nationally.
Metro Transit saw ridership grow for the fifth straight year to 81.4 million rides last year. Ridership on buses, the METRO Blue Line and the Northstar Commuter Rail line increased by 300,000 rides from 2012, reaching the second highest total in 32 years. Ridership on the Northstar Commuter Rail line was especially strong, growing more than 12 percent.
Regional transit ridership grew 0.4 percent to 94.3 million rides in 2013. The number includes ridership from all transit providers in the Twin Cities metro region as well as Metro Mobility, Transit Link and Metro Vanpool.
The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, which operates the METRO Red Line, set a new ridership record year with 2.7 million rides.
Since 1995, transit ridership has grown 37 percent nationally, outpacing population growth and vehicle miles traveled, according to APTA. Metro Transit’s ridership grew nearly 7 percent between 2009 and 2013.
“There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities,” APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said in a statement. “People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth.”
> APTA: Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken on U.S. Public Transportation in 2013
> Metro Transit 2013 Ridership Increases to 81.4 Million
> Star Tribune: Transit use hits historic levels in metro, nationally
> USA Today: Transit ridership reaches highest level since 1956
> New York Times: Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956
> Stateline: Improving Networks and Economy Boost Transit Ridership