Minneapolis

Numbers show Metro Transit use savaged by pandemic

2021-06-15 06:20:26 –

Metro Transit ridership figures released Monday for this year’s first quarter confirm that COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on Twin Cities public transportation.

Some 7.6 million people took trains, buses, Metro Mobility, Transit Link and vanpool service between January and March, a 56% decline when compared with 17.3 million passengers in the same period in 2020 — just before the coronavirus firmly took hold.

“The picture has not been good,” said John Harper, Metro Transit Contracted Transit Service manager, at a Metropolitan Council Transportation Committee meeting Monday.

The most popular mode of transit was local bus service and light rail, while Northstar commuter rail and express bus routes suffered the most as thousands of people continued to work from home.

Still, all modes reported ridership declines in the first quarter. Local bus service was down 58%, and light rail 55%.

Among the bus categories, bus rapid transit service — including the popular A and C rapid bus lines — fared the best, down 43% in the quarter.

Northstar ridership was 7,201 in the quarter, a 95% plunge. The sluggish performance of the Northstar commuter rail, which links downtown Minneapolis and Big Lake through the northwestern suburbs, has prompted officials to study its fate.

When asked whether a perceived lack of safety may be a factor hampering ridership returns, Metro Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra said initiatives are well underway to improve cleanliness and safety at stations and on buses and trains. That includes real-time camera monitoring and plastic seat installation on light rail.

During most of the pandemic, Metro Transit limited riders to essential trips, and curtailed the number of passengers on buses and trains to promote social distancing.

That mandate was lifted May 28, but federal regulations still call for passengers to wear masks on buses and trains through Sept. 13.

Ridership trends do appear to be slowly improving when comparing this year’s first three months to the final quarter of 2020. Bus and Northstar ridership were down only 4% and 3%, respectively, and ridership on the Blue and Green light-rail lines actually increased by 8%.

“We are starting to see rebounds in service,” Harper said.

rn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},{"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start"},{"id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":{"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"{% extends "shell" %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit - count - 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.btn('Save Now') }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#}rn

rn

rn

You have {{ limit - count - 1 }} articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},{"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start"},{"id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":{"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"}]};


Numbers show Metro Transit use savaged by pandemic Source link Numbers show Metro Transit use savaged by pandemic

Back to top button