Metro ridership shows slight uptick in May

Before I get to the latest ridership numbers, I wanted to include my daily nag to take our latest survey above — if you haven’t already. I suspect results from this poll, which I’ll discuss at a later date, may have something to do with the ridership numbers below.

As for the latest Metro ridership numbers from this past May, there was a slight increase over May 2010 (39,423,063 compared to 39,258,435). Most of the gains were on the bus side of Metro operations, but Metro Rail saw an increase, too.

Overall, Metro and many other agencies are still trying to reach ridership highs of 2008. On a national level, ridership was slightly up in the first quarter of 2011, according to stats compiled [pdf] by the American Public Transportation Assn.

The prevailing view among many agencies across the country is that the recession, unemployment, fluctuating gas prices, dips in funding for transit and accompanying service cuts have all impacted ridership in the past three years.


7 replies

  1. Unemployment also reduces traffic on the freeways, making driving more attractive for those who still have jobs, so it reduces ridership in two ways.

  2. Im a little dissapointed seeing the the Gold Line dip to 36,000 riders a day after seeing it come to super close to 40,000 riders last month. Perhaps this is just a reminder of how a lack of direct downtown access still holds down the potential ridership of both legs of the line.

    Im also curious as to why the Red Line has been continuously under 150,000 riders this year. Could last years fare increase somehow be affecting the Red Line more than the other rail lines whose riderships have returned to pre-fare increase levels (or in the case of the Gold Line increased) .

  3. Indeed, though these lines will probably tick back upward if Unemployment lowers and Fuel prices rise. I didn’t use the Red line last June I wonder how it looked with 160,000 boardings. Would Like to see the growth of the lines since their openings.

  4. The numbers show an epic battle between what affects transit ridership more, gas prices or unemployment.