Another chart today. This post could also be titled “Green Line: Wow?!”. MPR says that ridership on the Green Line is up significantly in its second week of operations, beating projections. David Levinson asks a good question: how does Green Line ridership compare pre- and post-rail operations?
Well, Metro Transit now posts average daily weekday and weekend boardings by stop for all Metro Transit lines plus some suburban routes, so we can get close to answering this question (thank you Metro Transit, data is good). Current data is an average over many days from fall 2013. If you add up all the boardings on the 16 and 50 on weekdays, you get 21,570 boardings. This means the Green Line is seeing something like a 50% increase in boardings over the bus service that was replaced (and the 16 isn’t totally gone). Can this ridership be sustained? Time will tell.
Why is ridership up? Speculation and consultation with Metro Transit staff suggest the following may be contributing factors:
- More connecting bus service. Many routes were re-jiggered to connect to the Green Line. According to the 2010 On-Board survey done by Metro Transit, 30% of riders surveyed came to the Blue Line from a bus.
- Route 94 service has been changed/reduced.
- Opening day/week/month excitement and novelty. Streets.mn writers may account for a large portion of this new ridership.
- Intra-downtown Minneapolis east-west circulation. Tons of trains now run through downtown, and this may have drawn former walkers, cyclists and bus riders.
- The Green Line is highly visible, frequent, high quality and serves a corridor with a lot of destinations. People like riding that kind of transit.
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