Met Council: Regional transit ridership dips slightly in 2018, Green and Blue line numbers up

Met Council: Regional transit ridership dips slightly in 2018, Green and Blue line numbers up Photo: KSTP/File

February 11, 2019 12:09 PM

Regional transit ridership in the Twin Cities metro area reached 94.2 million in 2018, representing a 1.3 percent decrease from the year before, according to numbers from the Metropolitan Council.

The ridership number combines the number of riders on all types of transit and by all of the region's transit providers.


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However, a release notes ridership on the METRO Green and Blue light rail lines, as well as the A Line rapid bus transit service, reached new highs.

Ridership on the Green Line, which runs between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, reached 13.8 million in 2018, up 5 percent from the year before. Ridership on the Blue Line reached more than 11 million, up 3.9 percent over 2017.

And, ridership on the A Line bus rapid transit which runs between Roseville and the Blue Line's 46th Street Station was 1.62 million in just its second full year of service. That was a 2 percent increase from the year before.

Ridership on the Northstar Commuter Rail Line remained essentially flat from the year before at around 787,000 rides.

The full ridership report was presented at the Met Council's Transportation Committee meeting Monday.

A release said low gas prices have impacted transit ridership nationwide, while ridership in the Twin Cities region experienced a dip following a fare increase in October of 2017. 

"Transit is a critical component to building and sustaining a prosperous community, particularly for the members of our communities who rely on it most," Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement contained in the release. "I'm encouraged to see that we're investing in services people need and use. We need to commit to a comprehensive vision for regular investment in a transportation system to support the day-to-day needs of our residents." 

"We've seen how investing in transit creates a stronger system that supports our growing region," Metropolitan Council Chair Nora Slawik added in her own statement, also included in the release. "With around 700,000 new people expected by 2040, we need to figure out today how we get in front of the significant increase in transit demand. Our region relies on a comprehensive transportation system that offers mobility options to all people, in order to remain economically competitive and connect people with opportunities."  


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