August 19, 2014 (San Diego) - More than 95 million trips were taken on local trolleys and busses over the past year, the Metropolitan Transit System, or MTS, has announced. That’s an 11.5 percent increase from the 85 million riders in fiscal year 2013.
Paul Jablonski, chief executive officer of MTS, says the ridership record “demonstrates that public transportation is an attractive alternative for San Diego residents and visitors.”
There are several reasons for the ridership record including new low-floor Trolley cars, reconfigured routes and passenger counting technology upgrades. An improved economy, additional service and gas prices of more than $4 per gallon also contributed to the ridership gains.
MTS recently deployed new low-floor Trolley cars on the Orange Line and realigned the Green Line to provide service all the way to downtown. This made trips faster, more comfortable and more convenient for all passengers. The new trains help speed up the boarding process by allowing direct access and eliminating the need for mechanical lifts for people using mobility devices.
MTS also implemented automated passenger counters on all trains to tally passengers more accurately, using sensors.
Ridership to special events such as San Diego Chargers games and Comic-Con was also up for the year. These events, which are big economic drivers for the San Diego region, depend on the trolley to provide alternatives to driving and parking hassles.
Trolley ridership increased nearly 34 percent over the previous year, while bus ridership actually saw a 1 percent decrease due to construction delays on some major routes—though some routes had an increase, including the Santee Route, where ridership rose over 9 percent—though the busiest bus route runs from La Mesa to downtown San Diego.
MTS operates more than 90 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday more than 285,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services. For more information on how you can use public transportation and save money, visit www.sdmts.com.