Metro Ridership Shows Sharp Increase in 2012

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metro blue line in long beach

Photo by fredcamino

As gas prices continue to climb and a recovering economy takes hold, recent Metro system ridership numbers show a sharp increase in weekday boardings during January and February of 2012.

Metro bus and rail ridership jumped the charts during the first two months of this year, with the Orange Line commuter route up a significant 18%. Ridership on Metro Rail also showed solid increases during January and February, most notably on the Blue Line and Green Line. The popular Metro Gold Line scored the biggest spike in ridership, reporting a 21.6% increase in boardings compared to last year.

During the last 12 months, ridership on Metro’s bus system held steady with a 1% increase, totaling more than 1.15 million boarding passengers on an average weekday in February.

Comparing February 2012 with February 2011, the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley gained 12% with 27,104 boardings and the Silver Line that runs from El Monte via the I-10 to Long Beach via the I-110 grew by 34% with 11,089 boardings.

Metro Rail ridership surged 5.9% to 316,436 average weekday boardings during the same reporting period, gaining 17,504 when compared to February 2011. This is a significant increase from the slow but steady 1.9% rise reported between 2011 and 2010.

Overall, Metro Rail ridership showed strong gains during the month of February totaling 316,436 average weekday boardings on the entire 79.1-mile system. The Metro Blue Line carried an average of 83,397 customers, the Metro Green Line recorded 43,712, the Metro Gold Line logged 41,147 and the Metro Red Line averaged 148,180 weekday boardings in February.

More opportunities to take public transit are coming soon when Metro opens the 8.6-mile Expo Line to Culver City this spring and the 4-mile extension of the Orange Line to Chatsworth this summer.”

Technology plays an important role in the growing ridership numbers. According to the 2011 On-board Customer Satisfaction Survey released by Metro’s Research and Program Development Dept., nearly 50% of public transit users have smart phones they can use to find out when the next bus or train will arrive. Transit apps such as “next bus” and service alerts on Twitter and SMS text messages are communicating service schedules and changes to a greater degree, eliminating a certain amount of wait time. Additionally, advancing passenger counting technology and electronic fare gates are increasing accuracy in ridership reporting.

Offering a variety of ways to ‘share the ride,’ Metro also coordinates an extensive carpool and vanpool program. Commuters can call 323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876) or go to “Commute Services” at for details.

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*Editor’s note: Figures from Metro ridership report:

Metro Rail Avg. Weekday Boarding by year Feb. 2012 Feb. 2011 Feb. 2010
Red Line 148,180 143,387 147,482
Blue Line 83,397 80,975 77,775
Green Line 43,712 40,729 37,456
Gold Line 41,147 33,829 30,512
Total Rail 316,436 298,932 293,237
Metro Rail Avg. Weekday Boarding by month Feb. 2012 Jan. 2012
Red Line 148,180 144,854
Blue Line 83,397 78,515
Green Line 43,712 42,600
Gold Line 41,147 41,129
Total Rail 316,436 307,098
Metro Bus Avg. Weekday Boarding by year Feb. 2012 Feb. 2011 Feb. 2010
Orange Line 27,104 24,284 23,141
Silver Line 11,089 8,304 6,974
All Other Bus 1,114,789 1,101,048 1,113,248
Total Bus 1,152,982 1,133,636 1,143,363
Metro Bus Avg. Weekday Boarding by month Feb. 2012 Jan. 2012
Orange Line 27,104 23,050
Silver Line 11,089 10,601
All Other Bus 1,068,379 1,067,631
Total Bus 1,106,572 1,101,282

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