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Metro Transit Ridership up in 2007

Metro Transit reported it's highest ridership total in 25 years, providing more than 77 million rides in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region in 2007.

Ridership increased by 3.4 million over 2006 or a 4.8 percent increase.* The count was based on both Metro Transit bus ridership and the Hiawatha Light Rail.

This is the highest rates since 1982, a year which was also marked by record high gas prices.

The Pioneer Press reported the General Manager, Brian Lamb, said in a press release that although factors like high gas prices, road construstion, and the I-35W bridge collapse did contribute to increased ridership, passenger have continued riding even as gas prices have dropped.

"Ridership growth in 2007 is not a one-year phenomenon. It continues a positive trend," Lamb said. (as reported by the Star Tribune)

Lamb added convience items had intensified over the past year.

7.2 million people used Metropass in 2007, an increase of 12.2 percent since the previous year. Metropass is a pass which employers provide at full or reduced cost to employees.

In 2007, The University of Minnesota student riders U-Pass increased by 9 percent or 4.3 million rides.

The newest convience, a fare debit card, was used by 25 percent of riders.

The agency reported that the buses were efficient in 2007. Buses were reported to have been on time 89 percent of the time, while trains were on time 97 percent of the time.

By March 2008 Metro Transit plans to add up to 20 percent soy biodiesel to its fuel, in addition to the 19 hybrid electric buses it added to its fleet in 2007.

*reports from the Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press differed in the percentages given. The percentages given in this report were taken from the Star Tribune.