Boston – For the first time since the fall of 2008, MBTA ridership has increased for three consecutive months, from March through May of this year. Average weekday ridership system-wide for May 2010 increased by 3% over May of last year, totaling 1.262 million passenger trips per weekday. In May, an average of 36,000 more passenger trips were made across all modes of MBTA services each weekday.
Continuing improvements to the Massachusetts economy and employment levels are considered by many analysts to be the most likely drivers of these ridership increases.
“Guided by the Patrick/Murray Administration’s commitment to transportation reform, we have worked hard to maintain our customer base while attracting new riders through innovative customer service initiatives such as real-time bus tracking,” said MBTA General Manager Richard Davey. “Our concerted efforts to provide T services that are reliable, safe, and affordable demonstrate our strong determination to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto public transportation.”
The MBTA’s bus and subway systems experienced the most significant increases in ridership. Average weekday bus ridership in May of 2009 was 354,700, but it jumped to 378,500 in May of this year. Many bus riders are benefitting from the availability of a feed of real-time bus locations and arrival predictions. Building on a successful pilot for five bus routes last month, the T has now made real-time information available this summer on 12 additional bus routes. Such information is now available to one-third of MBTA bus riders.
On the Red, Blue, and Orange Lines, average weekday ridership rose from 475,600 in May of 2009 to 490,000 this May.