Friday, October 19, 2012

TTC and LACMTA see rise in ridership

Riders board a streetcar in Toronto. Riders board a streetcar in Toronto. TTC Facebook

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto, ON, Canada, has set a new 12-month ridership record. From October 3, 2011 to October 2, 2012, the TTC carried more than 510 million riders.

By the end of this year, the TTC expects to have carried 514 million riders, with a projected ridership of 528 million in 2013.

The TTC has taken steps to add extra service to meet the increase in ridership. In September and October, the TTC increased service on 77 subway, streetcar and bus routes, with approximately 50 of these increases during peak times. More service will be added in the new year to meet ridership demand.

In addition, the new Toronto Rocket subway trains continue to be pressed into service on the Yonge-University-Spadina line, adding an additional 10 percent passenger capacity. As well, a new signal system is being installed on the line that will allow for more trains and greater frequency of service, further increasing capacity.

Construction continues on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension from Downsview Station north to York Region. Work is also under way on the Metrolinx Light Rapid Transit lines across the city, all in the name of adding more transit options for more people in Toronto.

Additionally, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ridership numbers for September show a continuing increase in weekday boardings.

September was a record setting month for the expanding LACMTA system. The average weekday ridership of 92,120 boardings set a record for the Blue Line. Ridership on the 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, the new Expo Line, which reported 11,347 boarding in its May start-up reports, surpassed 20,000 boardings. The Green Line recorded 46,393, the Gold Line logged 41,987 and the Red/Purple Line averaged 155,940 weekday boardings in September.

LACMTA 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.

Overall, LACMTA's rail ridership showed a 12 percent gain over the previous 12 months, totaling 357,096 average weekday boardings on the entire 87.7-mile system.

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