Double Transit Ridership in Maryland by the End of 2020

Overall Progress

15.6% Increase in Total Annual Ridership Since FY2006

Insufficient Progress

Total Annual Ridership

FY 2014
113,803,882
Riders
FY 2006
98,420,206
Riders
15.6% Increase

Total Annual Ridership: Light Rail

FY 2014
8,105,743
Riders
FY 2006
5,401,000
Riders
50.1% Increase

Total Annual Ridership: MARC

FY 2014
8,979,468
Riders
FY 2006
7,274,737
Riders
23.4% Increase
This site was last updated on December 3, 2014.

Total Annual Ridership

FY2014 Annual Ridership by Mode

Annual Ridership: Commuter Bus

Average Weekday Ridership: Core Bus

Maps

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In-State Renewable Energy Generating Capacity (Actual and Projected)

Are We Meeting Our Goals?

Recognizing the benefits of a strong, reliable public transit system, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has set an ambitious goal to double transit ridership in Maryland by 2020.  Easily accessible, high quality public transportation fosters more livable communities, provides greater mobility, expands economic activity, and reduces greenhouse gases that cause climate change.  

The total annual ridership for the MTA was 113,803,882 in FY14, up 15.6 percent since 2006. While we are making progress, the rate of MTA ridership growth is far behind the pace needed to double transit ridership by 2020. Our ability to approach the transit ridership goal is largely dependent on the completion of large transit projects, like the Red and Purple Line, which will provide significantly more capacity for future growth.

Beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, the metric used to measure progress towards the Transit Ridership Goal was changed from "average weekday ridership" to "total annual ridership" to better track holiday and weekend ridership numbers across all MTA modes (Core Bus Service, Metro, Light Rail, MARC, Commuter Bus, Mobility, and Taxi Access). In FY2014, the MTA also upgraded its bus ridership counting system to enhance its service planning and scheduling functions. The new Automatic Passenger Count (APC) system uses computerized sensors to count passengers as they board and leave the vehicle. The APCs provide the most accurate estimates for bus ridership to date and the most robust data for ridership on particular routes, which will help drive planning decisions in the future. In order to maintain the integrity of the Transit Ridership Goal, the MTA used ridership estimate differences between the new APC system and previous counting methodologies  to make historical revisions going back to FY06 to allow for an apples-to-apples comparison between fiscal years.  

Actions Taken Towards Goal

  • The MTA unveiled its Next Train Arrival System for the Light Rail on May 15th. The new program now provides customers with real-time arrival information on LED screens at every station stop and through its website that can also be accessed with mobile devices. This initiative is one of many the MTA is currently working on to improve customer service for its transit riders. Please click here for more details about the Next Train Arrival system.
  • The MTA is currently conducting the Bus Network Improvement Project (BNIP), a comprehensive study to update and improve the agency's core bus service. The MTA spent several months towards the end of 2013 seeking guidance from the public on how it can better serve its customers. The MTA is now in the process of drafting service enhancements based on the input it received from its riders and issued Phase 1 recommendations in July 2014. Please click here to see the first round of BNIP changes, which focus on reliability, efficiency, real-time notification, and better connections to Baltimore job centers.  
  • In December, MARC began providing weekend service on the Penn Line. The fares are the same as weekday service, and weekly and monthly passes are also honored. More than 4,000 people boarded the trains on the first weekend of this highly anticipated service. Click here to see the MARC Weekend Schedule. 
  • Last year, Governor O'Malley proposed and signed the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 to create a sustainable funding source that will allow Maryland to move forward with critical transportation projects in the future. Over the next six years, $4.4 billion in new investments will support more than 57,000 jobs, create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, and provide Marylanders with the transportation infrastructure necessary to grow ridership for decades to come.
  • A portion of the funds through the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 will be invested in the Red Line ($170 million) and Purple Line ($280 million) Light Rail Projects. The new lines will provide fast, reliable, and environmentally sensitive transit options for the most densely populated areas of our State and are expected to increase ridership by over 120,000 riders by 2030. Click here to track the ongoing progress of MTA's New Start Projects.
  • Maryland purchased 54 multi-level rail cars in 2011 to increase MARC ridership capacity and improve service quality. The new rail cars will expand the MARC fleet by 16 cars and add 4,780 daily seat trips to MARC service. Roughly 80 percent of the funding for the new cars came from the Federal Government.
  • The MTA has updated its MARC Growth and Investment Plan (2013 to 2050) by outlining the short-term and long-term changes the agency plans to make to improve its service. MARC ridership has increased 3.5 percent annually over the past 15 years and will continue to grow with the addition of multi-level cars and weekend service. Click here to find out more information on the future of MARC service.
  • Please click here to read the 2013 delivery plan to achieve the State's transit ridership goal.

How Can I Get Involved?

  • Visit the Maryland Transit Administration website and see where public transit can take you.
  • Encourage your employer to take advantage of the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit, which significantly reduces the cost of providing commuter benefits to employees.
  • College students can sign up for the Student Advantage Card for an annual membership fee and save 15 percent on MARC Train tickets, as well as other discounts.
  • Seniors age 65 and older can ride for at least approximately one-third of the regular fare on Local Bus, Light Rail, and Metro, and have the regular fare on MARC. All you have to do is show proof of your age.
  • Board faster, keep track of your transit expenditures, and protect balances against lost or damaged cards by applying for an MTA CharmCard.

Additional Information

  • Learn more about Transit Oriented Development and how transit, environmental planning, and economic development come together to improve the lives of Marylanders.

Where Did We Get Our Data?

Here is the transit data set which back this page: total annual ridership. Please explore and share the data; it's all public!

How Can I Get Involved?

  • Visit the Maryland Transit Administration website and see where public transit can take you.
  • Encourage your employer to take advantage of the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit, which significantly reduces the cost of providing commuter benefits to employees.
  • College students can sign up for the Student Advantage Card for an annual membership fee and save 15 percent on MARC Train tickets, as well as other discounts.
  • Seniors age 65 and older can ride for at least approximately one-third of the regular fare on Local Bus, Light Rail, and Metro, and have the regular fare on MARC. All you have to do is show proof of your age.
  • Board faster, keep track of your transit expenditures, and protect balances against lost or damaged cards by applying for an MTA CharmCard.

Where Did We Get Our Data?

Here is the transit data set which back this page: total annual ridership. Please explore and share the data; it's all public!

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