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Valley Metro: Ridership increases 5.1% in 2011-12

Valley Metro: Ridership increases 5.1% in 2011-12

Valley Metro experienced a 5.1% increase in annual regional transit ridership over the same period one year ago, calculated annually from July 1 to June 30, at more than 71 million boardings. Light rail ridership was the highest recorded at more than 13.5 million annual boardings.

“As the economy moves in a positive direction and new jobs are generated, there is an upswing in public transit use,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “In addition, we appreciate that there is a greater interest in taking public transit because of its convenience and value.”

Besides using transit to get to work and school, people are taking light rail to community and sporting events, which is contributing to days of record-breaking ridership. There were 62,227 light rail boardings on the day of the Diamondbacks home opener game on April 6, 2012 as compared to an average daily ridership of about 42,000 passengers. Due to a stronger local economy and higher gas prices during this time period, bus service has experienced increases in ridership nearly every month over the same time one year ago.

Across the U.S., more people are finding that using bus or light rail helps save money and can improve the environment by reducing the formation of emissions that create pollution. According to the American Public Transportation Association’s June 2012 Transit Savings Report (, individuals who ride public transportation instead of drive can save, on average, $812 a month, or $9,743 annually.
Details about annual and monthly transit ridership and all Valley Metro public transit services are available at.

Valley Metro RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local and federal revenues. A board of 16 governments sets the policy direction for the agency and works to improve and regionalize the public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Valley Metro Rail (dba METRO light rail) is responsible for the development and operation of the region’s high-capacity transit system.  The first 20-mile light rail line opened December 2008 and served 13.2 million riders in 2011, exceeding the prior year by four percent.  METRO serves an average of 40,000 riders per weekday.  It is also planning for six extensions that will create a 57-mile system by 2032.