– Phoenix transit ridership up 15 percent

Phoenix Business Journal

Light Rail is the reason transit ridership up

Bad times for the economy appear to have been good news for Valley Metro.

The Valley’s public transit organization saw bus ridership grow 6 percent from July 2008 through June 2009. With light rail riders added in, total public transit use was up 15 percent this fiscal year compared with last year.

In all, nearly 71.3 million passengers boarded Valley Metro buses and light rail cars in the past year — up from about 61.9 million from July 2007 to June 2008. Since the Valley light rail system opened last December, roughly 5.6 million people have used it.

“Certainly, in the last six months, overall transit ridership has been boosted by the new Metro light rail service,” said David Boggs, executive director of Valley Metro. “We now have a complete transit system with bus and rail connections, getting more Valley residents and visitors out of their cars.”

Statistics from Valley Metro also show that more riders are using bicycles to complete their transit trips, with 1.5 million bikes carried on public transit in the past year, an increase of 9.4 percent from 2008.



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