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MTS officials estimate the transit center will serve roughly 300,000 passengers each year. Photo via Facebook
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MTS ridership increases in first seven months of current fiscal year

REGION — Ridership on San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System is up by more than 200,000 trips since fiscal year 2019 began last July 1, the agency announced today.

The county’s trolley network has driven the increase in ridership with six consecutive months of ridership gains compared to fiscal year 2018.

In total, trolley ridership is up roughly 1 percent from 21,810,915 in the first seven months of fiscal year 2018 to 22,037,351 trips to date in the current fiscal year.

“These numbers are highly encouraging,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “In January of last year, MTS began implementing many route changes that increased frequency on our high-demand routes. We completed making changes in January of this year and we’ve already begun to see the results.”

Bus ridership was essentially stagnant, falling from 27,964,591 in the first seven months of FY2018 to 27,941,344 in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, a drop of less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

MTS officials believe bus ridership could increase in the near future, however, due to added Rapid bus routes with continuously expanding ridership.

MTS’ new South Bay Rapid route and its Rapid Superloop routes servicing UC San Diego have both seen ridership increases during weekdays, with the latter adding more than 3,000 bus trips each day.

The addition of the agency’s new Otay Mesa Transit Center has also spurred ridership increases on existing routes that stop at the facility. MTS will add the new ridership data to its monthly records this month.

“Everyone at MTS — from board members to every member of MTS staff — is committed to develop a public transit system that meets the needs of our future and of all San Diegans,” said MTS Board Chair and San Diego City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez. “We are excited about the possibilities and our region’s support of public transit to help us meet our climate action goals.”