Longer, more interesting posts still in progress (I promise), but in the meantime, a quick look at performance of the rail network since January 2009 (the earliest year for which monthly data is published on Metro’s website).
First, the raw data:
Red/Purple, Gold, & Expo are all near all-time high ridership. Blue & Green are a little weak relative to late 2012. The data there is questionable – I find it hard to believe the Blue Line gained 6,000 riders per day in June 2012, another 4,000 per day by November 2012, and then lost 5,000 per day by January 2013 – but it is what it is, we have nothing else to go on.
Monthly data really is too noisy to see patterns:
You have to look at a rolling 12-month average to really see what’s going on. Call it seasonally adjusted:
Blue, Green, and Gold surged a little through 2011 and 2012, but have tailed off a little lately. Red/Purple Lines have been increasing steadily.
A better way to look at the productivity of the lines is boardings per mile, and as you can see, Expo Line has been kicking ass and taking names. After 18 months in service, it’s closing in on the boardings per mile achieved by the Blue Line after 18 years.
Consider that Expo Phase 2 is only 6.5 miles long, and it’s going to serve:
- Palms (one of LA’s densest neighborhoods)
- Expo/Westwood (sneaky close to Pico and a natural transfer point to get to UCLA)
- Olympic/26th (Santa Monica’s booming tech area)
- 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, and the beach
I’m going to make a prediction and say that Expo Line passes the current Blue Line boardings per mile (4,000) within three years of Phase 2 opening. Reason, your crow is served.