July ridership numbers — Expo Line continues to make gains

Looks like a trend we’ve seen in recent months continues: Metro Rail ridership continues to increase while systemwide bus ridership is flat. The Expo Line continues to increase with more than 18,000 average weekday boardings.

That’s not a huge surprise with July being the first month that the full first phase was open between downtown L.A. and Culver City.

Below are the July numbers, which on the rail side are tabulated over the prior several months and then crunched to come up with the monthly numbers:

 Ridership Statistics

 Bus – Directly Operated

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,032,747 1,052,088 1,058,021
Average Saturday Boardings 718,137 731,024 722,957
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 539,825 536,218 536,789
Total Calendar Month Boardings 27,799,185 27,914,188 28,517,171

 

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

 

Bus – Contract

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 42,578 41,489 42,239
Average Saturday Boardings 25,227 24,243 24,418
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 19,101 18,170 18,633
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,109,651 1,060,013 1,102,262

 

Bus – Systemwide

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,075,325 1,093,577 1,100,260
Average Saturday Boardings 743,364 755,267 747,375
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 558,926 554,388 555,422
Total Calendar Month Boardings 28,908,836 28,974,201 29,619,433

 

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

 

Orange Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 26,087 22,817 21,902
Average Saturday Boardings 16,999 13,817 13,415
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 13,397 10,959 10,921
Total Calendar Month Boardings 696,205 591,179 581,622

 

Silver Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 11,206 9,480 7,488
Average Saturday Boardings 4,529 3,746 2,815
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 3,093 2,294 2,045
Total Calendar Month Boardings 272,000 222,094 181,548

 

Rail Ridership Estimates

 

Red/Purple Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 151,309 171,163 154,450
Average Saturday Boardings 86,941 92,171 100,390
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 78,265 74,186 80,310
Total Calendar Month Boardings 3,994,854 4,329,229 4,146,950

 

Blue Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 89,155 90,109 77,545
Average Saturday Boardings 61,350 60,213 54,280
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 53,559 54,155 48,850
Total Calendar Month Boardings 2,439,015 2,428,171 2,144,095

 

Blue Line estimates do not include Expo boardings.

 

Expo Line

 

July 2012
Average Weekday Boardings 18,181
Average Saturday Boardings 11,930
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 11,322
Total Calendar Month Boardings 497,449    

 

Green Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 47,214 45,259 39,900
Average Saturday Boardings 26,568 25,927 21,545
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 17,052 19,706 18,350
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,200,080 1,153,062 1,037,375

 

Gold Line

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 45,694 42,900 34,285
Average Saturday Boardings 22,729 26,029 25,371
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 18,363 21,452 22,970
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,160,665 1,116,868 961,690

 

Rail Systemwide Ridership Estimates

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 351,553 349,432 306,180
Average Saturday Boardings 209,518 204,340 201,586
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 178,562 169,499 170,480
Total Calendar Month Boardings 9,292,064 9,027,329 8,290,110

 

Includes Expo Line ridership.

 

Systemwide Ridership Estimates

 

July 2012 July 2011 July 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,426,878 1,443,009 1,406,440
Average Saturday Boardings 952,881> 959,607 948,961
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 737,488 723,887 725,902
Total Calendar Month Boardings 38,200,900 38,001,530 37,909,543


10 replies

  1. It appears that if you subtract the Orange, Silver and Contracted bus lines – that bus ridership is continuing it’s decline while rail carries a staggering – and increasing – number of people for the percentage of the mileage it covers.

  2. The decline in ridership for Red/Purple line on weekdays from 2011 to 2012 works out to an average of 63 people per day… spread over a 20-hour service period. It wouldn’t be noticeable.

  3. I question Metro’s methodology of estimating rail ridership. “Tabulated over the prior several months then crunched” doesn’t sound like a sturdy way to estimate any one month’s boardings.

    Steve, can you give us some background on the methodology?

    • Hi Mark;

      I don’t have any specific details. Bus ridership is pretty easy to tabulate — it’s based on the farebox. Over the years, that has been a trickier issue on the rail side owing to the lack of gates at stations until relatively recently (and still not all rail stations have gates). As a result, rail ridership data is collected by several means and it’s done over several months and then crunched to produce a ridership estimate. On the plus side, Metro has been consistent with their methodology. On the minus side, the rail ridership is really more of an estimate of average ridership over several months. I’ve reported this in the past as I don’t want to sell the numbers as something that they’re not (i.e. an exclusive count of boardings in a single month). Metro staff have confidence in the numbers and I don’t have any reason to believe that they’re way off base — but I do think it’s important to note from time to time that they’re estimates and not hard numbers.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Note how for buses they don’t use the word “estimates” but for rails the use “estimates.”

    Metro has no real clue what the ridership figures are. All of it is just conjecture.

  5. I wonder if there are statistics available that show average boardings for active service miles. Since rail mileage is increasing while bus mileage is decreasing, this statistic might give a better picture of what is changing.

    • I haven’t seen such a breakdown from Metro but generally speaking rail ridership has increased as the miles of rail have increased. I think on the bus side it’s more complex — it’s not just the miles of bus service, but where the buses go (and don’t go) and the times that they go there. There are, as you know, many Metro bus lines that carry a lot of people. At the same time, out in suburbia there are lines that are rarely, if ever, crowded.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. “As a result, rail ridership data is collected by several means and it’s done over several months and then crunched to produce a ridership estimate.”

    Basically another total waste of taxes wasted on labor costs used to calculate this when it would be much simpler to do this automatically if we had installed fare gates in the first place, like oh, pretty much how everyone else does it all over the world?

    Brilliant way to waste taxes Metro.