Public transit use hits all-time high, MTS reports

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SAN DIEGO — More than 96.7 million passenger trips were made on buses and trolleys during the fiscal year ended June 30 — an all-time high, the Metropolitan Transit System reported.

Also, ridership on the trolley surpassed 40 million trips for the first time, up 1 percent over the previous fiscal year, according to the MTS. Nearly 56.6 million passenger trips were made on buses, a 2 percent increase.

“We added a significant amount of service with Rapid and the public responded,” said Paul Jablonski, CEO of the MTS. “A second straight year of record ridership and an 18 percent increase since 2010 demonstrates that transit is an affordable and attractive option for San Diego residents and visitors.”

The Blue Line was the most popular trolley route, with 16.5 million riders, a 9.5 percent hike over the previous year. Green Line and Orange Line ridership both decreased slightly.

The Silver Line carried 32,944 passengers around the downtown loop on the San Diego Vintage Trolley.

The MTS credited the expansion of its high-frequency, limited-stop Rapid service for the increase in bus ridership and the overall passenger trip record. The routes with the biggest jumps in the number of passengers served UC San Diego, the Golden Triangle and Sorrento Valley, as well as Otay Mesa and other South Bay communities, Pacific Beach and Kearny Mesa.

Bus Route 7, which runs between downtown San Diego and La Mesa, continues to be the busiest. The MTS said passengers made almost 3.5 million trips during the fiscal year.

Special events, like Comic-Con International and concerts by Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones, also boosted bus and trolley ridership, according to the MTS.

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