Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twin Cities LRT helps system ridership increase

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Driven by increases on its Hiawatha Line light rail transit option, Metro Transit ridership on both bus and LRT increased 0.2% in 2012, to more than 81 million riders, compared with a year earlier, the Twin Cities agency says.

Ridership on the Hiawatha LRT line, serving Minneapolis, hit an annual record of 10.5 million riders, or about 13% of the agency's total ridership. The Hiawatha Line, now also called the Blue Line to distinguish it from other LRT services soon to be added, opened for revenue service in June 2004.

"For only the second time in a generation, Metro Transit ridership has exceeded 81 million," said agency General Manager Brian Lamb to local media. "This represents the third straight year of ridership growth."

Ridership on the Hiawatha Line already has exceeded the pre-construction estimate for the year 2020, according to Metropolitan Council..