Chart of the Day – Transit Ridership by Route


This chart is actually a map.  It’s a map of average weekday ridership by transit route, as of April 2009.  MetroGIS Data Finder used to keep this data, but I haven’t been able to find an update.  If anyone knows where I can get an updated version of this data, let me know in the comments.

The lines aren’t additive, meaning there could be multiple routes on top of each other and the lines aren’t any thicker. The lines aren’t actually that thick along the entirety of all routes either, since this isn’t stop level data, but I think it’s still interesting. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

13 Responses to Chart of the Day – Transit Ridership by Route

  1. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele February 27, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Interesting. No lines to Eden Prairie or Target North.

    Instead of replacing express buses with expensive light rail, maybe we should be incrementally building light rail to North Memorial, Brookdale (huge TOD potential), Uptown, Old St. Anthony, etc.

  2. Janelle Nivens
    Janelle February 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    The first thought I had: I wish I could hang this on my wall. Maybe StreetsMN could partner with an artist to create transit inspired wall art for purchase!?

    • Kyle Rosenberg February 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      I made a t-shirt awhile ago that had the transit routes on it! (It didn’t have the ridership data, though; just the routes)
      You can’t buy the shirt anymore, though (it was a crowdfunded campaign), but it would be fun to make another shirt or wall print with the ridership data!

  3. Andrew B February 28, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Nice map! I agree that the busiest looking routes should be the ones upgrading to BRT/LRT. Certainly not SWLRT, and Bottineau LRT *has* to go through N Mpls to be useful.

    • Adam Miller
      Adam February 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Funny how the first two LRT lines to be built do go along heavily used corridors (although I don’t know if Hiawatha was as heavily used pre-rail) but the third doesn’t and the fourth may not.

      • Bill Lindeke
        Bill Lindeke February 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        Yeah that is too bad.

  4. Anders Imboden
    Anders February 28, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    What’s the rationale for not publicly releasing some form of ridership data in a basic workable format, even just as a CSV?

  5. minneapolisite February 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Just goes to prove the demand for more high-frequency routes: so why don’t we have them? The 11 is just as popular as the 84, yet today after getting off the 32 at Lowry and 2nd at 4:28 expecting the 4:29 bus it didn’t come until just over 20 minutes and I know it didn’t come early because others had been waiting. I picked it up at 17th just blocks from my destination since I walked after waiting 10 minutes. The intervals on that line just don’t work when a bus is that late you don’t have another one due soon to pick up any slack. Still, despite lacking service its ridership matches the 84 which runs more frequently, so just imagine if they made it high-frequency too. The 22 is comparable to and likewise lacking high-frequency service.Then I see the 2 and 17 have much higher ridership worthy of high-frequency status, but they aren’t for some reason. It’s funny to see routes I think would see more ridership with improved service already boast numbers comparable or better to those that already offer it.

    As an aside, I’m also puzzled as to why MetroTransit lowers frequency of these high-frequency routes when people are off of work, can actually use the bus and want to go out and shop,eat, drink, etc, but instead they run at regular high intervals when we’re stuck at work and have no use for the bus 9-12 or 1-4. It’s not uncommon fo people including myself to be out after 9PM on a weeknight before turning in for work the next day, so I’m confused.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke February 28, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Does anyone know anyone who works as a bus transit planner?

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke February 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Might there be a (quasi-moralistic) bias towards focusing only on the commute… at the expense of later evening service? Or does ridership not sustain this kind of service demand?

      • minneapolisite March 1, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

        Even if there is a bias toward rush hour commutes they could still scale back service during deader mid-morning and early afternoon hours and instead add those onto later evening hours. Another thing about this map is that the data is from 2009, yet here we are in 2014 and service on numerous routes with high demand still have poor service.

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