The numbers are in, and more people are turning to transit. Metro ridership is up for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012 (July 2011-December 2011). System-wide, ridership on MetroLink, MetroBus, and Metro Call-A-Ride increased eight percent over the same period in the previous year.
Metro recorded 23,371,166 boardings from July 2011 through December 2011. During the same time period in Fiscal Year 2011, Metro recorded 21,610,892 boardings.
MetroBus saw the largest ridership increase among the three transit services provided by Metro. In the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012, MetroBus ridership was up 11.1 percent. In December 2011 alone, MetroBus was up 18.3 percent over the previous December.
MetroLink recorded a 3.6 percent increase during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012.
Metro Call-A-Ride, which provides curb-to-curb service primarily for the elderly and persons with disabilities, recorded a 1.9 percent increase during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2012.
Rising gas prices may also impact Metro ridership numbers in the months ahead. According to the American Public Transportation Association, $5 per gallon gas could spur up to 1.5 billion additional passenger trips on U.S. public transportation systems. If you’ve been thinking about trying some new traveling habits to save on gas money, now might be the right time to park the car at home or a Park-Ride lot, and go by foot, bike and transit to keep more money in your wallet.