List of North American light rail systems by ridership

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The following is a list of all light rail systems in North America, ranked by ridership. Daily figures for American and Canadian light rail systems are "average weekday unlinked passenger trips" (where transfers between lines are counted as two separate passenger "boardings" or "trips"), unless otherwise indicated. For light rail systems in the United States and Canada, these figures come from the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Ridership Reports statistics. For Mexico, the figures are obtained from Banco de Información Económica's Instituto Nacional de Estadísitica y Geografía (INEGI), and the daily figures represent daily passenger trips averaged from the monthly and Quarterly ridership figures. All figures are from 2014 and the Fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2014, unless otherwise noted. 'Daily boardings per mile' figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 or 10.

The question of which systems would count as 'light rail transit systems' is debatable, so this table includes some systems (such as Toronto's) which are technically "streetcars" rather than "true" light rail.

System Country City/Area
served
Annual
Ridership
(2016)[1][2]
Avg. daily
weekday
boardings
(Q4 2016)[1][2]
System
length
Avg. daily boardings per mile
(Q4 2016)
Year
opened
Stations Lines Year
last
expanded
1 Toronto streetcar system  CAN Toronto 95,761,000 292,100 51 miles (82 km)[3] 5,727 1861[4] 708 streetcar-like surface stops[3] 11[3] 2016
2 CTrain  CAN Calgary 88,779,200 293,400 37.2 miles (59.9 km)[5] 7,887 1981[6] 45[5] 2 2014
3 Guadalajara light rail (Tren ligero de Guadalajara)  MEX Guadalajara 89,245,000 265,078[note 1] 14.9 miles (24.0 km)[7] 17,790 1989[7] 29[8] 2[8] 1994[7]
4 MBTA light rail:[note 2]
Green Line &
Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line[note 3]
 USA Boston 69,236,700 226,500 26 miles (42 km)[9] 8,712 1897;[10]
1929
74[9] 2[9] 2004;
n/a
5 Metro Rail light rail:[note 2]
Blue, Expo, Gold
& Green Lines
 USA Los Angeles 65,829,000 211,700 88.1 miles (141.8 km)[11] 2,403 1990[11] 65[11] 4[11] 2012[11]
6 Muni Metro[note 2]
(incl. F Market[12][13][note 3])
 USA San Francisco 52,597,300 164,300 35.7 miles (57.5 km)[14] 4,602 1980[14] 152[13][14] 8[12][14] 2007
7 MAX Light Rail  USA Portland,
Oregon
40,240,300 124,200 60 miles (97 km) 2,070 1986 97 5 2015
8 San Diego Trolley
(incl. Silver Line[15][note 3])
 USA San Diego 38,068,600 114,500 53.5 miles (86.1 km)[16] 2,140 1981[16] 53[16] 4[15][16] 2005[16]
9 Edmonton Light Rail Transit  CAN Edmonton 36,664,700 112,531 15.1 miles (24.3 km)[17] 7,452 1978[17] 18[17] 2[17] 2015[17]
10 DART Light Rail  USA Dallas 29,619,500 101,500 93 miles (150 km)[18] 1,091 1996[19] 64[18] 4[20] 2016[19]
11 Xochimilco Light Rail[note 2]  MEX Mexico City 29,370,000 86,556[note 1] 8.0 miles (12.9 km) 10,820 1986 18[21] 1[21] 1988
12 SEPTA light rail:[22][note 2]
Subway–Surface Lines, Suburban Trolley Lines,
& Girard Ave Trolley[note 3]
 USA Philadelphia 25,127,600 82,000 68.4 miles (110.1 km)[23][24] 1,199 1906 >100[23] 8[23][24] 2005
13 RTD Light Rail  USA Denver 24,585,000 75,900 58.5 miles (94.1 km)[25] 1,297 1994[26] 46[25] 6[25] 2006[26]
14 METRO Light Rail  USA Minneapolis 22,963,500 72,900 21.8 miles (35.1 km)[27][28] 3,344 2004[27] 37[27][28] 2[27][28] 2014[28]
15 Link light rail:
Tacoma Link
and Central Link
 USA Tacoma & Seattle 20,577,800 70,500 20.4 miles (32.8 km)[29] 3,456 2003,
2009
5,[29]
15[29]
2[29] 2016[30]
16 TRAX (light rail)  USA Salt Lake City 19,220,300 64,300 44.8 miles (72.1 km)[31] 1,435 1999[32] 50[33] 3[33] 2013
17 METRORail  USA Houston 18,335,800 56,600 22.9 miles (36.9 km)[34] 2,427 2004[34] 37[35] 3[34] 2015[34]
18 Hudson–Bergen Light Rail  USA Jersey City,
New Jersey
16,691,558[36] 54,434[36] 17 miles (27 km)[37] 3,202 2000 24[38] 3[38] 2006
19 Valley Metro Rail  USA Phoenix 15,264,600 52,700 26 miles (42 km)[39] 2,240 2008[40] 35[39] 1 2016[41]
20 St. Louis MetroLink  USA St. Louis 15,343,900 45,800 46.0 miles (74.0 km)[42] 996 1993[43] 37[42] 2[44] 2006[45]
21 Sacramento RT Light Rail  USA Sacramento,
California
12,286,600 41,300 42.9 miles (69.0 km)[46] 963 1987[46] 53[46] 3[46] 2015[46]
22 VTA Light Rail  USA San Jose,
California
9,931,100 29,900 42.2 miles (67.9 km)[47] 709 1987[47] 62[47] 3[47] 2005[47]
23 The T:
Pittsburgh Light Rail
 USA Pittsburgh 8,166,100 27,700 26.2 miles (42.2 km)[48] 1,057 1984 53[48] 2[48] 2012[48]
24 Baltimore Light Rail[note 2]  USA Baltimore 8,092,300 27,100 33.0 miles (53.1 km)[49] 820 1992 33[49] 3[49] 1997
25 Streetcars in
New Orleans
[note 3]
 USA New Orleans 8,048,400 24,900 22.3 miles (35.9 km)[50][51] 1,030 1835 streetcar-like surface stops 4[50] 2013[50]
26 San Francisco
cable car system
[note 4][note 3]
 USA San Francisco 5,833,900 13,800 5.2 miles (8.4 km) 2,654 1878[52] streetcar-like surface stops 3[13][53] 1952
27 Portland Streetcar[note 5]  USA Portland 5,627,588[54][note 6] 20,011[54][note 7] 7.35 miles (11.83 km)[55] 2,723 2001[55] 76[55] 2[55] 2012[55]
28 Newark Light Rail  USA Newark,
New Jersey
5,356,687[36] 18,505[36] 6.2 miles (10.0 km)[37] 2,985 1935 17[56] 2[56] 2006
29 Lynx Rapid Transit Services  USA Charlotte,
North Carolina
5,130,400 16,400 9.6 miles (15.4 km)[57] 1,708 2007[58] 15[57] 1[57] n/a
30 Buffalo Metro Rail  USA Buffalo,
New York
4,300,500 17,500 6.4 miles (10.3 km) 2,734 1985 14[59] 1[59] n/a
31 O-Train  CAN Ottawa 3,012,700 18,600 5.0 miles (8.0 km)[60] 3,720 2001[61] 5[60] 1[60] n/a
32 River LINE  USA TrentonCamden,
New Jersey
2,869,707[36] 9,014[36] 34 miles (55 km)[37] 265 2004 20[62] 1[62] n/a
33 RTA Rapid Transit:[note 2]
Blue and Green Lines
 USA Cleveland 2,778,600 7,613[note 1] 15.3 miles (24.6 km)[63] 500 1913[64] 34[63] 2[63] 1996[64]
34 SPRINTER  USA Oceanside,
California
2,688,400 9,200 22 miles (35 km)[65] 420 2008[65] 15[65] 1[65] n/a
35 Tide Light Rail  USA Norfolk,
Virginia
1,695,900 5,800 7.4 miles (11.9 km)[66] 785 2011[67] 11[66] 1[66] n/a
36 Seattle Streetcar  USA Seattle 707,700 2,200 3.8 miles (6.1 km) 1,690 2007[68] 17[69] 2[69] 2016[70]
37 MATA Trolleys[note 3]  USA Memphis,
Tennessee
485,100[note 8] 0[note 8] 6.3 miles (10.1 km) 0[note 8] 1993[71] 25[72] 3[72] 2004[71]
38 TECO Line Streetcars[note 3]  USA Tampa,
Florida
273,500 700 2.7 miles (4.3 km)[73] 260 2002 11[74] 1[74] 2010
39 Sun Link  USA Tucson,
Arizona
n/a 4,000[75] 3.9 miles (6.3 km)[76] 1,026 2014 22[76] 1[76] n/a
40 Atlanta Streetcar  USA Atlanta,
Georgia
n/a n/a 2.7 miles (4.3 km) n/a 2014 12 1 n/a
41 Dallas Streetcar  USA Dallas,
Texas
n/a n/a 2.45 miles (3.94 km) n/a 2015 6 1 2016
42 CityLynx Gold Line  USA Charlotte,
North Carolina
n/a n/a 1.5 miles (2.4 km) n/a 2015 6 1 n/a

Sources:

  • American Public Transportation Association - Transit Ridership Report - Q4 2016.[1]
  • Banco de Información Económica - Instituto Nacional de Estadísitica y Geografía (INEGI)[2] (Note: INEGI only provides monthly figures - figures in table above are for the Q4 2014 monthly average, then divided by 30 days to get the daily average.)

Systems excluded from ridership table[edit]

The following systems have been excluded from the ridership table above (generally because the system's ridership statistics are not tracked by APTA):

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c This is the Average Daily Ridership figure, not an "Average Weekday Ridership" figure – it is averaged from the Q4 2014 Total Ridership figure for this system.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g This system also has a heavy rail rapid transit/metro portion (see List of metro systems); the ridership figures and statistics here represent the light rail portion of the system only.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l This line or system is operated using heritage streetcars.
  4. ^ It is debatable whether this system truly qualifies as "light rail" (or as a true "transit" system either), but it is included in the table anyway for comparison purposes (and due to its ridership statistics being tracked by APTA).
  5. ^ This system is owned by the City of Portland, which is not a member of APTA, and its ridership figures are not included in the APTA statistics for Portland.
  6. ^ This annual ridership figure is for Fiscal Year 2014, which covers the period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
  7. ^ This figure is from Portland Streetcar's First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 (Q1 FY2015), which covers the same calendar period as Q3 2014: July to September 2014.
  8. ^ a b c The MATA Trolley system completely suspended operations for a significant portion of 2014 (including all of Q4 2014) due to maintenance issues.

References[edit]

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