Metro Transit is one of the country's largest transit systems. Metro Transit operates the METRO Blue and Green light rail lines, Northstar commuter rail line and 123 bus routes. All Metro Transit buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps and racks for bicycles. All trains feature storage areas for bicycles and luggage.
The award came after the successful opening of the METRO Green Line, a decade of ridership growth, and improvements in system safety, reliability, community relations, workforce development, sustainability and financial management, among other areas.
For the sixth consecutive year, Metro Transit provided more than 80 million annual rides, reaching the third-highest annual ridership since 1981.
Metro Transit provided more than 82.6 million rides in 2016, averaging 266,916 rides each weekday. Ridership on the METRO Green Line also continued to grow while the region’s first rapid bus line boosted ridership in the corridor it serves.
Last year’s ridership was down about 4 percent from 2015, when ridership reached its highest point in 34 years. Low gas prices and the prolonged closure of Nicollet Mall were among the factors that contributed to the drop in ridership.
“Annual ridership is a good measure of our progress but it doesn’t tell the complete story,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said. “Our ridership has grown in nine of the last 11 years – a period of sustained growth we haven’t seen in this region for nearly a generation.”
Metro Transit is an operating division of the Council.