Huge increases in Metro Transit ridership for first quarter
More people rode Metro Transit buses and trains in the first quarter of 2008 than had in the same time frame over the last 20 years.
Some 19.2 million riders rode buses and trains the first three months of the year — up 1.3 million rides, and the most since 1984, according to a Metro Transit news release.
Metro Transit recorded ridership increases across all types of its service, paced by a 16.4 percent increase on the Hiawatha light-rail line. Three-month ridership was 2.1 million, the first time first-quarter ridership topped 2 million in the four-year history of light-rail service.
Locally, ridership was up 8.3 percent, and express bus ridership was up 4.3 percent.
Metro Transit officials said they are on track to meeting their goal of 78 million rides in 2008.
To make it easier to take the bus or train, Metro Transit implemented two new trip-planning features during the first quarter, enhancing online trip planners and adding maps.
Metro Transit, overseen by the Metropolitan Council, operates in metropolitan Minneapolis and St. Paul. For more information, go to www.metrotransit.org.
Is my neighborhood getting poorer? Considering the economic geniuses of the current administration, I suppose that could be so -- I'm not getting richer, that's for sure. Or could it be that people are sick of gas prices and getting around in other ways? A co-worker just traded in the Jeep for a new Ford Focus. He got tired of burning 4 gallons of gas a day to get to work.