Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Performance Measures

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Transit Ridership


About the measures

Twin Cities transit systems

MnDOT’s public transit ridership targets for the Twin Cities metropolitan area are to increase public transit ridership. Twin Cities transit ridership is measured by the annual number of boardings recorded by all Twin Cities transit providers including the Met Council, the University of Minnesota, and the four suburban transit systems.

Greater Minnesota transit systems

MnDOT’s public transit ridership targets for Greater Minnesota are to increase public transit ridership throughout the state. There are 34 public transit systems serving at least a portion of all 80 counties in Greater Minnesota.

Recent trends

Twin Cities transit systems

In 2022, public transit ridership was 45.9 million in the Twin Cities area. Transit ridership slowly declined before rapidly declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Changes in travel behavior and the continuing pandemic contributed to a slow rebound in ridership. Ridership increased again in 2022, which was the highest ridership since 2020.

Greater Minnesota transit systems

In 2022, public transit ridership was 7.2 million in Greater Minnesota. Transit ridership slowly declined before rapidly declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Changes in travel behavior and the continuing pandemic contributed to a slow rebound in ridership. Ridership increased again in 2022, which was the highest ridership since 2020.

Where we want to go

Twin Cities transit systems

Through public transit providers, MnDOT is committed to providing multimodal transportation options. Access to safe and timely transit is a key piece of the multimodal transportation network. The Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit and works with other metropolitan transit providers, expects additional growth in 2023. Some routes and services, like Metro Mobility, Metro Transit’s on-demand ride service for those with disabilities or health concerns, are operating at 80 percent of their pre-pandemic capacity. Changes in travel patterns continue to affect transit ridership – peak travel times moved from typical commute patterns to 3 p.m., ridership is lower Monday through Friday, and ridership is less predictable.

Greater Minnesota transit systems

The Greater Minnesota ridership target is to meet 90 percent of transit needs by 2025 (currently estimated at 17 million trips). In 2022, the Greater Minnesota transit ridership began to rebound. An increase in staffing licensed transit drivers allowed the addition of transit routes and return in transit services cut during the pandemic. There was also an increase in people returning to in-person work and school. Several universities returned to an in-person learning environment, increasing transit ridership, particularly in small urban systems. As the threat of COVID decreased, people were more willing to take transit as an option. Overall, the small urban systems saw the biggest increase in ridership with an increase of 677,277 rides, though ridership increased across all systems.

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