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Rail News: Passenger Rail

LACMTA, Metro-North register ridership spikes

Last month, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) posted ridership records on all its rail lines and carried an average of 319,582 passengers each weekday, up 20 percent compared with July 2007.

Nearly half rode the subway system — ridership on the Metro Red and Purple lines also rose 20 percent.

Average weekday ridership rose 39 percent to 27,019 on the Metro Gold Line; 19 percent to 46,527 on the Metro Green Line; and 15 percent to 86,596 on the Metro Blue Line.

Meanwhile, MTA Metro-North Railroad has posted significant ridership increases on its Pascack Valley Line since introducing weekend and mid-day off-peak service last fall. Average weekly ridership now stands at 11,634, the line's highest-ever passenger count. Weekday ridership has shot up 40 percent since spring 2007.

In October, Metro-North added 16 weekday off-peak trains and 23 weekend trains. The agency later added one more weekend train. Since October, morning peak ridership has increased 22 percent and daily off-peak ridership has risen from 35 to 119.

"Not only did the addition of weekday off-peak service make sense for the occasional customer, but we believe it made the line more attractive to would-be peak-hour commuters who wanted the safety net of a way to get home early," said Metro-North President Howard Permut in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/14/2008