Regional Transit Ridership

Systemwide regional ridership slipped 1.3 percent from 2017

Regional Ridership 2013 to 2018

Transit ridership in the Twin Cities metropolitan area reached 94.2 million in 2018, down slightly (1.3 percent) from the year before.

Regional transit ridership combines the number of rides on all types of transit and by all the region’s transit providers.

Ridership highlights

METRO Green Line, METRO Blue Line and A Line each set annual ridership records

Ridership on the METRO Blue and Green light rail lines was up 5 percent, to 25 million rides. Light rail accounts for just over one-quarter of all transit rides in the region.

  • METRO Green Line, between Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul: 13.8 million, up 5 percent from year before.
  • METRO Blue Line, between downtown Minneapolis to MSP International Airport: more than 11 million, up 3.9 percent.

Bus rapid transit ridership, including the A Line and METRO Red Line (between Apple Valley and Mall of America), was up 1 percent to 1.87 million.

  • The A Line, bus rapid transit between Roseville and the Blue Line’s 46th Street station, drew 1.62 million rides in its second full year of service, up 2 percent from 2017.

Local and express bus ridership: 54.6 million, down 4.5 percent from 2017. Some ridership loss was expected following an October 2017 fare increase. The bus driver shortage, lower-than-usual gas prices and road construction also played a role.

Northstar Commuter Rail remained essentially flat year-over-year with over 787,000 rides.

On-demand service

Metro Mobility: demand for service continues to grow, up 6 percent from 2017 to 2.4 million rides. Annual growth of 5 to 8 percent over the last five years is expected to continue to rise. With this growth, Metro Mobility takes up a larger and larger portion of the region’s transit budget as outlined in the Metropolitan Area Transit Finance Report (PDF).

Transit Link — dial-a-ride small bus service where regular-route transit service is not available: 439,243 (down 3 percent).

Other regional transit providers

Total: 9,184,569 (down 1.3 percent)

Individual providers

  • Minnesota Valley Transit: 2,619,791 (down 1.3 percent)
  • SouthWest Transit: 1,127,355 (down 1.6 percent)
  • Maple Grove Transit: 836,668 (remained essentially flat year-over-year)
  • Plymouth Metrolink: 519,337 (up 1.4 percent)
  • University of Minnesota: 4,081,418 (up 4 percent)