If you feel like city busses are a little more crowded lately, you’re probably right.
Metro Transit’s bus ridership in the first quarter of 2011 reached 19.5 million trips, a 2-percent increase over the same period last year. Some services performed even better. For example, express bus ridership is up almost 3.5 percent.
“We’re off to a very encouraging start in 2011,” said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. “Rising gas prices have certainly played a role in encouraging new customers to give transit a try. They continue riding with us because we consistently deliver on service, schedule and safety. Those attributes contributed to the Twin Cities being ranked among the top five transit systems nationally.”
Of all the Metro Transit services, the most new riders flocked to the Northstar Commuter Rail, which saw a 6-percent ridership increase over the same period the previous year. Over 146,000 passengers have used the Northstar line so far this year.
Metro Transit’s ridership has exceeded 76 million passengers every year for the last four years, a number that had previously not been reached since 1982. Despite the continued growth in Metro Transit ridership, the Hiawatha light rail line saw a 1.8-percent decline during the first quarter.