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Front Page » Transportation » 36-month Miami-Dade transit rider loss worsens

36-month Miami-Dade transit rider loss worsens

Written by on May 2, 2018
36-month Miami-Dade transit rider loss worsens

Miami-Dade’s reeling transit system just recorded another huge loss, as total riders declined 12.9% in a single month from the prior year, latest county data reveal.

March was the 36th consecutive month of plunging transit ridership year over year. Since the last gain of less than a percentage point in March 2015, a full 25% of the county’s March transit ridership has disappeared.

In March 2015, county transit carried nearly 9.7 million passengers. By this March the number had fallen to just over 7.2 million.

Over the past year transportation officials have offered reasons for the decline, including an improved economy in which more people can afford cars and dropping gasoline prices that made driving preferable to mass transit.

Less often mentioned causes are the appearance of Uber and Lyft as competitors and the condition and timeliness of county transit vehicles.

Boardings fell across all modes of transit in March. Bus ridership, which is hardest hit virtually every month, fell 14.2% from March 2017. Metrorail ridership fell 11.7%, while even the free Metromover lost 9.5% of riders from March 2017 to March 2018. Even special transit services for the disabled fell 2.2%.

Continuing declines in riders cut two ways into the revenues of the transit system: fares decline while at the same time federal and state aid, which is based to an extent on transit use, also declines.

The plunge is from October 2013 – the last month of eight-digit transit use totals at 10,068,544 – to March’s 7,244,805.

The decline in bus ridership has been most pronounced, with double-digit percentage drops year over year in six of the past seven months.

Metromover, which serves booming downtown and Brickell, was once an exception to transit declines. But that has reversed: although that service is free, it has lost riders year over year monthly since November 2016.

15 Responses to 36-month Miami-Dade transit rider loss worsens

  1. Grato de Cardenas

    May 2, 2018 at 8:25 am

    As long as there is parking everywhere, gasoline taxes are low, and the ever expansion of suburban growth continues, mass transit will be the last option for anyone, anywhere in the city.

  2. Robert Benyard

    May 2, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    But why do you think its failing? People are getting tired of buses taking forever to show. In most cases people sit more then 2 hours on a commute just to get were there going. If I have to get to work Miami-Dade Transit will not be an option and I’m 10 minutes away from my workplace. If it means keep my job and pay more for transportation uber/Lyft it is.

  3. Dominic Wilson

    May 2, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I just got off a bus that I rode for free the third time this week. I’ll keep my money lol

  4. ray

    May 4, 2018 at 7:24 am

    The County has done everything but work to improve the system while ride sharing has given people alternatives, but the latter will go up in cost – Uber is losing money to get market share, which won’t last forever. When rates increase, people will look again to mass transit and it will, at this rate, keep getting worse as an alternative based on the county Mayor’s lack of interest in improving rail – the only system not to interfere with roads.

  5. BFW

    May 4, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Metrorail ridership fell 11.7%?
    Not bad considering that the number of rail cars has been reduced by 30%. On time performance has fallen by 90%.
    Perhaps this justifies another $5 million dollar study lol

  6. Gene

    May 4, 2018 at 11:12 am

    With so much development in downtown and Brickell, it would be assumed that city planners would plan for the expansion of Metromover and MetroRail lines that rise above traffic and have the potential to move more people faster than buses (in regular traffic) ever could. But no, there seems to be no desire to plan for or fund expansion towards growing areas such as Doral, Design District, Upper east Side and the entire Biscayne Corridor. Where is the Master Plan for Miami? Where are mandated developer contributions for mass transit, schools, libraries and the acquisition of additional open space? I’m waiting………..

  7. William P Martin

    May 4, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Since Metromover is free, how do they do the passenger count?

  8. Gerwyn Flax

    May 4, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    How is it you rode for free? Just curious. Could it be that the bus drivers are angry at the county, even so, it doesn’t make sense.

  9. John Hacker

    May 7, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Where are the new trains? Smaller, OK. MWF from Culmer to U of M lucky I ride one twice a month. Buses the drivers play a part, Divers not respecting the buses. County government has trackers. Is some one analyzing data? Check the sidewalks if you want to know where your riders went.

  10. Miami man

    May 7, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Let’s be real these study’s are not all correct based one several reasons
    1.outsourcing bus routes. If they outsource routes of course the ridership drops

    2.leadership in transit changing the schedules every 3 to 6 months. Something is always changing if someone is use to catching the bus at a certain time for years then all of a sudden it changes of course they’ll deem it not dependable

    3. Faulty equipment. The passenger counters and or fare boxes are not always working so they put out numbers that are not accurate to deceive the public

  11. Isaac Conyers

    May 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Instead of giving the new buses to 95 express buses passengers give them to urban areas in the north county. If they make the buses more new and better looking people would start riding. People hate the old buses because they are loud and dirty and the old buses don’t absorb the bumps and pot holes, which is bad. They need to have buses on time and have drivers on the ball.

  12. Miamivice

    May 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I personally believe that Gimenez wants to eliminate the metro rail system and give those contracts to his crony friend. I don’t think ridership has fallen as much as they claim. These buses have faulty card readers and most of these riders don’t even swipe their cards. In Carlos Gimenez’s Miami, Ford should have all focuses across town providing driverless transportation. I really have no idea what this mayor is thinking but Miami definitely needs new leadership.

  13. james

    May 15, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    The decline in ridership appears to be accelerating:

  14. SUE

    May 30, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Decline in ridership? Who is counting? The trains are packed like sardines and so are the buses. Are you kidding? I dont know why the new trains (which are awesome) come in 2’s? What about 5 cars instead? What about arriving every 5 minutes during rush hour like they are supposed to?

  15. Martagill

    May 31, 2018 at 8:55 am

    It’s way too expensive to ride the metrorail.. My daughter needed to go downtown so I told her to take the train. Between parking and 2 tickets she spent $15. What a sham. Mayor Gimenez has been a massive fail in getting public transportation functioning in our county. He wants it to fail, apparently. Oh, and she said the train was packed. Standing room only. So much for “studies”. I wonder how much it cost.