2019 Regional Transit Ridership

Systemwide regional ridership slipped 2.9 percent from 2018

Transit ridership in the Twin Cities metropolitan area reached 91.6 million in 2019, down 2.9 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 and A Line set annual ridership records. Ridership in the corridor served by the METRO C Line, which opened in June, increased by about one-third compared to ridership before construction began on Penn Avenue.

Ridership on the METRO Blue and Green light rail lines was up 1%, to 25.3 million rides. Light rail accounts for over one quarter of all transit rides in the region.

  • METRO Green Line, between Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul: 14.2 million rides, up 3% increase from the year before.
  • METRO Blue Line, between downtown Minneapolis to MSP International Airport: more than 11 million rides, down slightly from 2018.
Bus rapid transit ridership was up 67% with the addition of the METRO C Line, which opened in June, to the existing A Line and Red Line (between Apple Valley and Mall of America). The A Line and C Line together reached nearly 3 million rides in 2019.
  • METRO A Line, between Roseville and the METRO Blue Line’s 46th Street station, drew 1.7 million rides in its third full year of service, up 3% from 2017.
  • METRO C Line launched in 2019 along Penn Avenue between downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center. Just six months into operation, the C Line service closed the year at 1.2 million rides.

Northstar Commuter Rail was down 2% year-over-year with nearly 768,000 rides.

Local route ridership in 2019 came in at 47 million rides, down 8% from 2018. Express bus had 12.3 million rides, down 3%.

National trends affecting ridership include more auto usage because of relatively low interest rates to buy a car and the price of gas, and the impact of emerging travel options like ride-hail services, bike share and scooters. In the metro area, more people are choosing to live in the urban core, particularly University of Minnesota students. In addition, construction in downtown Minneapolis, where many riders transfer, has created detours and delays for several of the region’s busier lines.

On-demand service

  • Metro Mobility: ridership grew only 2% in 2019 to 2.42 million rides. The average growth had been 6% over the previous 5 years. We continue to plan for growth in Metro Mobility ridership in the coming years.

  • Transit Link, dial-a-ride small bus service where regular-route transit service is not available: 425,044 (down 3%).

Other regional transit providers

Total: 9,074,284 (down 1.2%)

Individual providers

  • Maple Grove Transit: 810,874 (down 3%)

  • Minnesota Valley Transit Authority: 2,547,656 (down 3%)

  • Plymouth Metro Link: 522,724 (up 1%)

  • Southwest Transit: 1,106,199 (down 2%)

  • University of Minnesota: 4,086,831 (essentially flat)