MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For only the second time in 30 years, Metro Transit ridership has hit nearly 81 million in 2011.

Officials say that marks a 3.5-percent increase over 2010’s numbers.

The total ridership of more than 80 million marks the fifth consecutive annual ridership above 76 million.

Bus ridership increased 4.3 percent to 69.8 million while the Hiawatha Light Rail ridership topped 10.4 million.

Ridership on the Northstar Commuter Rail went up 7 percent, among daily commuters but declined 1 percent in overall ridership.

Comments (19)
  1. me says:

    Maybe if people didn’ t have to stand from downtown to the MOA, especially during the Twins…they would ride more. I personally WILL NEVER ride the train again, after I was told soo rudly that I pay for a ride not a seat. Umm sorry but…if i’m paying…then that alone says I should have a seat. Not to mention….it’s just down right dangerous. I say…one of these days…a metro transit …or MVTA bus or any other mass transit vehical…is going to end up gettig sued someday beause someone got hurt while standing, and the bus or train got into an accident.

    also…if people had more shelters to protect them from the heat/wind/and rain, there would be more riders. Who the heck wants to stand outside and wait for a train for 10 minutes…or a bus for 20 minutes? Sure…the train stalls are heated but they do no good when it’s blowing wind.

    There are quite a few people like me who will not drive because of these inconvienences.

    1. me says:

      Ok so minus the typos…because I was typing fast, and not paying attention to where my fingers landed on the keys…

      There are quite a few people like me who will NOT ride or take mass transit because of these inconveniences.

    2. Katie says:

      I don’t understand why you’re so upset over not getting a seat. Perhaps you’re not used to public transit? In most cases, I’ve always been able to get a seat – except during the busiest times. But that’s really normal.

      When I lived in London and Germany, standing during busy times was just how it was. Just last week, I rode the bus in San Francisco, and was fine standing until a seat opened up. I’ve even had to stand for a 1 hour train ride between two German cities during rush hour. That’s just how it is during busy times.

      If you really want a seat, you always have the option to wait for a later ride when one is available. If you can’t tolerate that, you don’t have to ride public transit – as you said yourself. But for those of us who don’t mind (all over the world) we know that peak transit times mean busy buses and we deal with it. I’d much rather get on a full bus than sit waiting for a long time – and (e.g.) at the end of Twins games, every bus/light rail tram is going to be full to bursting.

      For me, being crunched in a tram for a 20 minute ride is much better than sitting in my car in traffic for 30 minutes trying to get out of parking lot. But if it’s not to you, then riding the bus isn’t worth it.

  2. Rufus Larkin says:

    That is a glossey way of saying that it is harder to get your own seat nowadays and is becomes less pleasant to ride bus.

  3. Spin it CCO says:

    The headline should be ‘ Light Rail Transit Declines in 2011’.

    Shouldn’t this press release include the assiciated revenue PL??

  4. Spin it CCO says:


    For those of you that are confused about the decline in LR you will have to visit the Met Council site here:


    CCO spun the release and left off the last half of one sentence indicating the decline in LR.

    Shame on you CCO – Pathetic Reporting!

    1. Sam says:

      It dropped by one half of one percent, Spin It. That is not a significant number. Statistically, that is basically saying “light rail ridership remained the same.”

    2. Fasty says:

      Just the drop in attendance alone at Viking and Twins games due to their awfulness accounts for the .5 of 1%. In fact commuter riding is likely up. LRT usage will be even more popular when the line expansions open.

  5. Gee wize jean says:

    I happy with the ride, its warm and Its sure does beat walking, stop with the complaining you can’t stand ten minnutes,,,,how is the hell did you get to the train fly, LOL… Unless your handicap, your just a wienie cry baby …Same goes for the bus…..and sure it get jam packed at times,,,really not so hard to deal with…. if you can’t deal ….walk or bike or get a car…

    1. me says:

      Gee Wize Jean…point is…I pay…period…if I have to wear a seatbelt in a car…why is it ok to not wear one on mass transit? Ya gotta sit to wear a seat belt now doncha. I don’t care what argument you come up with.. Point is. It’s dangerous to stand..just as it is dangerous to ride in a car without a seat belt. I will be one to Sue…if I ever ride again, and get hurt because of it.

      1. Sam says:

        How do you figure it’s dangerous?
        This is not the same as riding in a car. The train is unlikely to get into an accident, and that accident is unlikely to derail the car. Yes, it happens now and then, but with nowhere near the frequency of car accidents.

        As was mentioned above, this is a simple fact of mass transit the world over, and there aren’t a huge number of injuries from this.

  6. dan says:

    So with ridership up so much can we stop subsidizing the project?

    1. Cameron Mckelroy says:

      Sure, just as soon as I can stop subsidizing your highways.

    2. Cameron Mckelroy says:

      Sure! Just as soon as we can also stop subsidizing the wasteful and inefficient addiction to driving some blockheads have.

  7. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    Public transportation, a system so good it HAS to be subsidized.

  8. Annette says:

    I can think of several things more stressful than taking the bus. Try driving in a 19 year vehicle that is falling apart and you are wondering if you will make it to work. that is a reality for some of us. My job pays the bills and the mortgage, not enough to pay for a newer vehicle. Not buying another 1,000 beater again! Besides my company subsiidizes my bus fare and I only walk 8 blocks to the bus so it really is convenient.
    By the way, highways and planes are heavily subidized as well, no city or county can afford to buy and maintain all their roads!

    1. who what where? says:

      Annette , I am glad for you. Busses nor trains go anywhere near my house nor my work. So I have no choice but to drive my beater back and forth to work. I even bought a cheap motorcycle that paidf for itself in gas savings to try to decrease my transportation costs. If mass transit was not subsidized so much from gas and other fees, maybe I could afford a car with better milage, and then again maybe I could not becuase fo course the government taketh, but the government never giveth back to those that pay in.

  9. Kenneth says:

    So let me get the numbers straight. If the number is 81 million is that 81 million fares? If so, a normal working person would go to work about 240 days per year assuming 4 weeks vacation and no weekends. To and from work thats 480 fares per person per year. That is only 169,000 people using public transportation. Out of 5.3 million people thats only 3.2% of the population that uses public transportation. Seems like an awfully low number for all the dollars we waste on this.

  10. RIII says:

    The headline should Metro Transit lost record amounts of taxpayers’ money. Less than 31% of its operating cost comes from fares: http://www.metrotransit.org/about-metro-transit.aspx