Metro ridership was up in September with the average weekday ridership of 92,120 boardings setting a record for the Blue Line. Ridership on the Metro Orange Line, which now includes boardings from the new four-mile extension to Chatsworth, soared to 31,787. After opening two new stations in June at Jefferson/La Cienega and Culver City, the new Expo Line, which reported 11,347 boarding in its May start-up reports, surpassed 20,000 boardings in September.
Metro officials point to the roiling fluctuations of gas prices as a major influence on public transportation ridership. But as the economy continues to improve, other factors weigh in on the upward trend, including efforts to combat congestion, a concern for the environment, social media technology and a new generation that chooses bicycling and public transportation over expensive car ownership.
According to the 2012 On-board Customer Satisfaction Survey released by Metro’s Research and Program Development Dept., some 58% of public transit users have smart phones they can use to find out when the next bus or train will arrive. Transit apps such as “next bus” and service alerts on Twitter and SMS text messages are communicating service schedules and changes to a greater degree, eliminating a certain amount of wait time.
Rail Systemwide Ridership Estimates*
Average Weekday Boardings
Average Saturday Boardings
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings
Total Calendar Month Boardings
*Includes Expo Line ridership.
NOTE: Total calendar month boardings are calculated based on the number of days in each month. September 2012 had 20 weekdays, 2 weekdays less than September of 2011 and 2010, and therefore may show a smaller number of total calendar month boardings.