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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

San Diego Trolley scores big with baseball park service

San Diego Trolley Inc. is having a record-breaking ridership year, primarily by getting an assist from an unlikely source — the San Diego Padres.

In April, the trolley service averaged 93,400 weekday boardings, a 36.3 percent increase compared with similar 2003 data. Special event ridership to new Padres’ home PETCO Park, located in the heart of the trolley’s transportation hub, increased 258 percent. During the park’s inaugural month, the trolley transported about 27 percent of attending fans to the game. That same month, the trolley recorded six days with ridership ranging between 130,399 and 140,129 passengers.

In May, there were only nine Padres home games compared with April’s 16 games, so ridership was down 16 percent. But average May weekday ridership still reached 83,703 — a 5.8 percent increase compared with May 2003.

Before the All Star break, ridership to PETCO Park totaled 336,048 passengers and ridership per game averaged 7,637. The trolley carries an average of 24 percent of fans attending each game.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/5/2004