Both Portland, Ore.-area TriMet and San Francisco, Calif.-area Caltrain are seeing strong ridership numbers. Initial findings from the Caltrain annual ridership count show average weekday ridership at an all-time high, 42,354, an increase of 4,575 passengers per weekday, or 12.1 percent higher than 2011. This marks the second year ridership has increased, despite service cuts and fare increases driven by Caltrain's on-going fiscal challenges.
Conducted in February, when ridership is relatively low, the count shows many of Caltrain’s most popular trains have more riders than seats. Ridership is higher in August and September.
Ridership on trains during peak commute hours increased from 18,262 in 2011 to 20,473 this year. Also notable, ridership on evening trains went from 2,162 to 2,658, up 23 percent over 2011.
Ridership increased at 27 out of 29 stations, with only Blossom Hill and San Martin seeing no increase.
San Francisco continued to be the most popular station, with 9,670 riders using the station on an average weekday. The highest increase in ridership was at the San Jose Diridon station, which increased nearly 19 percent, from 2,681 in 2011 to 3,187 in 2012. Ridership at the Palo Alto station, the second-most popular station, increased 15.7 percent, from 4,028 in 2011 to 4,661 in 2012.
As for TriMet, in March there were more than 8.6 million trips taken on TriMet buses, MAX and WES Commuter Rail. For 12 consecutive months, weekday and weekly trips and totally monthly ridership have increased.
Weekend trips were up 5.5 percent, the biggest total weekend ridership increase in two years. MAX Green Line weekend trips were up 10.8 percent to 26,700 trips. Weekly trips on MAX were up 2.5 percent, weekday trips were up two percent, weekend trips were up 4.8 percent and rush-hour trips were up 3.3 percent. The MAX Green Line saw a weekday increase for 5.5 percent and weekend numbers were up a whopping 10.8 percent. WES was up 3.3 percent for weekday/rush-hour trips and up 3.3 percent for weekly trips.