St. Paul, Minn. – (Aug. 5, 2011) – The Suburban Transit Providers (STPs) experienced strong ridership growth during the first six months of 2011. Ridership for the six providers ended June 30 up seven percent at 2,561,073 as compared to 2,393,861 at the end of June 2010.
The STPs represent 12 communities: Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Rosemount and Savage via the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA); Chaska, Chanhassen and Eden Prairie via SouthWest Transit; Prior Lake Laker Lines and Shakopee Transit offer BlueXpress service; along with Maple Grove Transit and Plymouth Metrolink.
The increase is attributable to high gas prices and strong service to the University of Minnesota. BlueXpress launched new mid-day service and Maple Grove Transit opened the new Parkway Station. BlueXpress Service led the STPs with a more than 15 percent increase for the first six months of 2011 over the same period last year. Plymouth Metrolink saw nearly a 14 percent increase; Minnesota Valley Transit was up more than 7 percent and is on pace to set a record (surpassing the record set in 2008) and Maple Grove Transit showed a 6.5 percent increase for the period, with double-digit increases from the previous year in the months of January and May.
“The Suburban Transit Providers are doing a tremendous job of meeting the needs of their local communities,” said STA Chair Willis Branning, a Dakota County Commissioner and Chair of the MVTA Board. “The bus and customer service the STPs offer is stellar, and we are so proud of the work being done,” he said.