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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Minnesota's Metro Transit registers best-ever annual ridership


Like many other agencies, the Twin Cities' Metro Transit posted record annual ridership in 2008. The agency carried 82 million passengers on its light-rail and bus systems, up 6.1 percent compared with 2007's total.

For the first time in its four-year history, the Hiawatha light-rail line surpassed 10 million trips, with ridership increasing 12 percent year over year. Weekday peak-period ridership averaged 37,000 passengers.

Metro Transit officials attribute ridership growth in part to increased participation in employer- and school-based fare programs, which rose 27 percent compared with 2007. More than 200 companies now offer their employees the Metropass unlimited-ride fare card, as well as the University of Minnesota, and other colleges and trade schools.