METRORail Ridership Trending Up

Press Release New Metro Going Places

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Release Date:       
October 13, 2014

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses, METRO is currently expanding its 13-mile Red Line with two new lines under construction. METRO’s services also include: Star Vanpool, METROLift, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Bikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app and the new digital, interactive rider tool METRO 360 [take a seat].



Houstonians are no stranger to the city's daily battle with gridlock. METRO offers several options to hitting the road solo, and its latest numbers show a boost in the agency's ridership.

METRO rounds out FY2014 with nearly 81 million boardings, surpassing the 80 million mark for a second consecutive fiscal year. That amounts to a fixed route ridership increase of 1.2 percent.

METRORail Ridership Sees Double Digit Increase

2012 spring break train in traffic

The biggest increase was along the Red Line. Regular and new rail customers, coupled with more rail cars on the system offering more trips, drove the 12.1 percent increase in fiscal year 2014, which runs from October 2013 to September 2014, when compared to FY2013.

In September 2014, there were 1,162,000 boardings recorded along the 13-mile stretch of rail. That’s nearly 257,000 more boardings compared to the same month last year when the Red Line was 7.5 miles long.  The North Line extension, which opened in December 2013, has exceeded projections and contributed to the Red Line ridership increase.

"The community is embracing rail and the value it brings - convenience and connectivity. We have every reason to believe the East End Line and Southeast Line will share this success," said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia.

As of September, the Red Line is averaging about 50,000 boardings each weekday. The Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast) are slated to open in April 2015.

Commuter Service Sees Gains

Park & Ride service saw a 4.8 percent jump in ridership with 8,348,000 boardings recorded in FY2014.  

Local bus service took a slight dip, down 1.3 percent, during the same fiscal period. METRO staff is currently working to improve the local bus network to connect one million people to one million jobs. The local network is being revamped under System Reimagining


"We project the local ridership numbers will tick upward once the plan is rolled out and after a two year adjustment period," said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. "It will give our customers better frequency, seven days a week."  


Other Highlights

METRORail and bus ridership (local and Park & Ride) combined hit a new high in September 2014 reaching 299,000 average weekday boardings. That's a monthly number not seen since FY2009.

METRO's Bikes on Buses program continues to generate strong numbers with 24,500 boardings registered in September 2014. That's a 22 percent increase compared to the same month last year. Since the program launched in 2007, there have been 867,000 #METROBikesOnBuses boardings. 

Persons looking to incorporate public transit into their schedules are encouraged to visit METRO 360 to get acquainted with some of the agency's vehicles and features of the system. 

For more information on METRO, System Reimagining and other services, call 713-635-4000 or visit