Regional Transit Ridership

Total metro area ridership in 2016 dips to 96.3 million from record 2015 high

2016 Twin Cities regional transit ridership chart
Transit ridership in the Twin Cities metropolitan area reached 96.3 million in 2016 but was  down 2.6% from the year before. The previous year’s total was the highest in 34 years.

Regional transit ridership combines the number of rides on all types of transit and by all the region’s transit providers  See details of 2016 ridership numbers (pdf).

Metro Transit

  • 2016 ridership on Metro Transit buses and trains: 82 million (down 3.8% from 2015 by about 3.2  million rides).
  • The A Line, providing rapid bus service between Roseville and the Blue Line’s 46th Street station, drew nearly 830,000 rides since it went into operation in June.
  • Light rail lines as share of all Metro Transit ridership: 28%
  • Bus ridership: Almost 70 million, down 4% from 2015. Ridership drop is primarily due to lower gas prices (which encourage driving) and the prolonged closure of Nicollet Mall (detours and delays).
  • METRO Green Line (between Minneapolis and Saint Paul downtowns): 12.7 million, up 2.6% from year before.
  • METRO Blue Line (between downtown Minneapolis to MSP International Airport): 10.3 million, down 3%. But 2015 recorded the highest annual ridership since the line opened in mid-2004.
  • Northstar Commuter Rail: More than 711,000 rides, down slightly from 2015. However, regular weekday ridership (not including special events) increased just over 1%

Council Contracted Fixed Route

  • METRO Red Line (bus rapid transit between Apple Valley and Mall of America): Ridership essentially unchanged: 266,811.
  • Bus ridership: 2,361,452 (down 4%)

Suburban Transit Providers 

  • Total: More than 5.2 million (up 2%)
  • Individual providers
    • Minnesota Valley Transit: 2,635,587
    • SouthWest Transit: 1,246,752
    • Maple Grove Transit: 837,341
    • Plymouth Metrolink: 506,826
  • Metro Mobility - service for people with disabilities
  • 2.2 million (up 6%).
  • Transit Link - dial-a-ride small bus service where regular-route transit service not available
  • 302,667 (down 7%)

More information
See tables showing the 2016 Regional Transit Ridership in the Twin Cities Region (pdf).