95 Million trips traveled on San Diego public transit in past year
In the fiscal year just completed a record number of passenger trips were provided by the Metropolitan Transit System. More than 95 million rides were recorded, well more than the previous high of 91 million five years ago, and a significant (11.5%) rise from the previous year.
Together with the population growth in the region, there are several reasons for the sharp increase in public transportation usage. The new Trolley cars with their lower floors for easier entry were introduced, the automated rider counting process was improved for a more accurate total, and many routes were changed in response to passenger input and patterns of usage. In addition, fuel prices rose to more than $4 a gallon for much of the fiscal year.
Besides added the new easier-access Trolleys (Orange Line, riders up 31% to 10 million), the Green Line (up 42% to 13 million) was changed to take riders the complete trip to the downtown San Diego area. The resulting convenience, and faster trip duration saw an increase in riders. The Blue Line remains the superstar of the Trolley lines, it’s passenger count up to 15 million. Meanwhile the short Silver Line had 29 thousand folks enjoy the loop ride on the Vintage cars.
Added to the increases of daily commuter usage, the practice of taking the MTS to travel to special events is on the rise. The numbers of trips taken to Comic-Con, the Supercross races, and Charger and Padre games contributed to the year’s statistics. The growth in popularity of these and similar economy-stimulating events is partly due to the ease of getting to them on San Diego’s mass transit, and the freedom from parking, and paying for parking, this provides.
All bus traffic increased greatly in fiscal 2014. The most busy route in the entire MTS system remains the 7 Route, which takes riders from La Mesa to downtown San Diego, with a total of 3.7 million trips.