Light Rail ridership numbers are no big secret around here. While I would like to have more frequent and detailed information about station-specific boardings, it is interesting ( to me ) to follow the monthly numbers. This past month, I was able to get a couple of reports that I found pretty interesting and thought there might be at least one more person out there that might want to read about them as well.
At a recent Tempe transportation committee meeting, I was given a chart showing the Tempe light rail boardings for January – August of 2009. The total number of Tempe light rail boardings for that time period was 1,934,578. An interesting fact about that number is that the entire City of Tempe “fixed route” bus system had 3,362,722 boardings for a MUCH larger area.
After the Light Rail ridership contest between Tom Simplot and Kyle Jones, I was given another chart showing the monthly break downs for the 19th/Montebello station and the Sycamore/Main station. The contest was pretty darn close. My calculations for the month ( based on Metro’s chart) shows the Phoenix light rail station at 19th/Montebello had 81,167 boardings compared to the Mesa light rail station at Sycamore and Main with 83,925 boardings for the month of September. We do know that September had the highest number of light rail boardings yet at 1,054,286.
It looks like the weather (finally) breaking, ASU students back at school, and people getting use to the system are all combining to create larger than expected demand for the system.
Some other light rail numbers I came across recently are:
There were 47,900,000 miles traveled by light rail in the first six months of operation.
The record for the highest number of METRO passengers on a single day was 50,011 (Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, ASU Commencement)
Average number of people who use the PHX Airport Shuttle each day is 1000
I happen to think September was just the beginning of more months where we see light rail ridership far above the original 26,000 boardings per day projections. People are looking to live closer, to enjoy the many festivals, markets, sporting facilities, etc., and it doesn’t appear that demand will go away.
That’s just one man’s guess… 🙂