Customers boarded Minnesota-based Metro Transit buses and trains nearly 81 million times in 2011 — an increase of 2.7 million rides (3.5%) over 2010.
The rise marks the fifth consecutive annual ridership above 76 million — a number not previously achieved since 1982. With total ridership of 80,886,892 in 2011, the year rivaled 2008’s historic 81.8 million rides.
Bus ridership accounted for all of the year-over-year gains, posting a 4.3% increase to 69.8 million.
Meanwhile, ridership on Metro’s Hiawatha light rail line topped 10.4 million for the second time in the line’s seven-year history, falling short of last year’s record year by just 55,000 rides. Although daily commuter ridership continues to increase, the overall ridership decline is attributable to fewer special event riders.
Finally, ridership among daily Northstar commuter rail riders was up 7% in 2011. Overall ridership declined 1%. As with the Hiawatha light rail line, there were also fewer special event riders in 2010 than in 2011.