We posted Metro’s October ridership numbers earlier. Here’s the accompanying news release:
Metro systemwide ridership estimates in Los Angeles County rose by double digits in October compared with the same month one year before, according to the latest service performance reports released today.
Overall, Metro Rail ridership rose by more than 23 percent from 8.1 million boardings in October 2011 to 9.9 million boardings in October 2012. Metro Bus ridership rose by nearly 5 percent during the same period, going from 31.1 million boardings in October 2011 to 32.7 million last month.
In terms of average weekday boardings, Metro Rail ridership showed a 19% gain compared to one year ago, totaling 360,901 average weekday boardings on the entire 87.7-mile system.
The Metro Blue Line, up 19.5% from one year ago, tallied an average of 92,953 weekday boardings. The Metro Green Line recorded an average 46,544 weekday boardings, up 8.7%. The Metro Gold Line logged 42,417 average weekday boardings, up 15.3%. The Metro Red/Purple Line averaged 157,605 weekday boardings in October, an increase of 8.1% from one year ago.
After opening two new stations in June, the new Expo Line, which reported 11,347 weekday boardings in its May start-up reports, continued its upward climb to 21,382 boardings.
Since October 2011, ridership on Metro’s bus system showed a noticeable increase of 2.1%, averaging more than 1.19 million boarding passengers on an average weekday in October.
Ridership on the Metro Orange Line, which now includes boardings from the new four-mile extension to Chatsworth, grew to 32,069 average weekday boardings, up 20.5% from one year ago. The Silver Line express bus service between the El Monte Bus Station and the Harbor Freeway Transitway, grew to 13,765 weekday boardings from 11,234 weekday boardings in October 2011, up 22% from one year ago.
Transit ridership increases in the region are being driven by fluctuating gas prices, efforts to combat congestion, an expanding Metro bus and rail system and a strong demand from the public seeking cost-efficient and time-saving means of transportation.
Technology plays an important role in the growing ridership numbers. According to the 2012 On-board Customer Satisfaction Survey released by Metro’s Research and Program Development Dept., some 58% of public transit users have smart phones they can use to find out when the next bus or train will arrive. Transit apps such as “next bus” and service alerts on Twitter and SMS text messages are communicating service schedules and changes to a greater degree, eliminating a certain amount of wait time. Additionally, advancing passenger counting technology and electronic fare gates are increasing accuracy in ridership reporting.
Offering a variety of ways to “share the ride,” Metro also coordinates an extensive carpool and vanpool program. Commuters can call 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876) or go to “Commute Services” at metro.net for details.