St. Louis Records Largest Bus Ridership Increase in the Nation
Director of Communications
Metro Transit in St. Louis led the nation in the first quarter of 2012 with the largest increase in bus ridership among transit agencies. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Metro Transit saw a 15.6 percent increase in bus ridership for January, February and March of this year. MetroBus recorded 7.1 million boardings during those three months as compared to 6.7 million MetroBus boardings during the same period in 2011.
APTA reported that Dallas followed St. Louis with an 11.9 percent increase in bus ridership; Arlington Heights, Illinois at 11.1 percent; Boston, Massachusetts at 10.6 percent; and Oakland, California at 10.5 percent. APTA also announced that large bus systems overall reported an increase of 4.6 percent nationally in January, February and March.
MetroLink ridership also increased during the first quarter of calendar year 2012, and that placed St. Louis on APTA’s top ten list of light rail systems with the highest rates of growth. Metro Transit reported an 8.2 percent increase in ridership on MetroLink during the first three months of this year. Memphis, Tennessee saw the largest increase in light rail ridership at 45.7 percent. Nationally, light rail ridership increased 6.7 percent in January, February and March. MetroLink recorded more than 4 million boardings as compared to 3.7 million during the first quarter last year.
Metro Chief Operating Officer Ray Friem said there are several factors that contributed to the increase in ridership. “The unseasonably warm winter combined with an improving economy and more people rejoining the workforce mean we are seeing more Bi-State area residents taking MetroBus. Also, we are continuing to see riders come back to Metro Transit system-wide following the 2010 service restoration.”
“With gas prices fluctuating, many commuters already know, MetroBus and MetroLink are great options when it comes to saving money to combat rising gas prices,” Friem added.