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 2018 and the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, 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.

Systems[edit]

System Country City/Area
served
Annual
ridership
(2018)[1][2]
Avg. daily
weekday
boardings
(Q4 2018)[1][2]
System
length
Avg. daily boardings per mile
(Q4 2018)
Year
opened
Stations Lines Year
last
expanded
1 Guadalajara light rail (Tren ligero de Guadalajara)  MEX Guadalajara 98,269,000 269,230[note 1] 24.0 km (14.9 mi)[3] 18,069 1989[3] 29[4] 2[4] 1994[3]
2 CTrain  CAN Calgary 91,029,100 312,300 59.9 km (37.2 mi)[5] 8,395 1981[6] 45[5] 2 2014
3 Toronto streetcar system  CAN Toronto 64,917,000 199,700 82 km (51 mi)[7] 3,916 1861[8] 708 streetcar stops[7] 11[7] 2016
4 Metro Rail light rail:[note 2]
Blue, Expo, Gold
& Green Lines
 USA Los Angeles 64,715,700 210,400 141.8 km (88.1 mi)[9] 2,388 1990[9] 65[9] 4[9] 2016[9]
5 MBTA light rail:[note 2]
Green Line &
Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line[note 3]
 USA Boston 53,715,600 162,900 42 km (26 mi)[10] 6,265 1897;[11]
1929
74[10] 2[10] 2004;
n/a
6 Muni Metro[note 2]
(incl. F Market[12][13][note 3])
 USA San Francisco 49,971,700 159,900 57.5 km (35.7 mi)[14] 4,479 1980[14] 152[13][14] 8[12][14] 2007
7 Edmonton Light Rail Transit  CAN Edmonton 39,448,700 112,531 24.3 km (15.1 mi)[15] 7,452 1978[15] 18[15] 2[15] 2015[15]
8 MAX Light Rail  USA Portland,
Oregon
38,953,100 119,600 97 km (60 mi) 1,993 1986 97 5 2015
9 San Diego Trolley
(incl. Silver Line[16][note 3])
 USA San Diego 37,139,700 115,400 86.1 km (53.5 mi)[17] 2,157 1981[17] 53[17] 4[16][17] 2005[17]
10 Xochimilco Light Rail[note 2]  MEX Mexico City 35,060,000 96,054[note 1] 12.9 km (8.0 mi) 12,006 1986 18[18] 1[18] 1988
11 DART Light Rail  USA Dallas 28,759,200 95,800 150 km (93 mi)[19] 1,030 1996[20] 64[19] 4[21] 2016[20]
12 RTD Light Rail  USA Denver 25,669,700 101,700 94.1 km (58.5 mi)[22] 1,738 1994[23] 46[22] 6[22] 2017[23]
13 Link light rail:
Tacoma Link
and Central Link
 USA Tacoma & Seattle 25,314,500 77,900 32.8 km (20.4 mi)[24] 3,819 2003,
2009
5,[24]
15[24]
2[24] 2016[25]
14 METRO Light Rail  USA Minneapolis 24,955,700 76,600 35.1 km (21.8 mi)[26][27] 3,514 2004[26] 37[26][27] 2[26][27] 2014[27]
15 SEPTA light rail:[28][note 2]
Subway–Surface Lines, Suburban Trolley Lines,
& Girard Ave Trolley[note 3]
 USA Philadelphia 24,868,200 91,000 110.1 km (68.4 mi)[29][30] 1,330 1858[31] >100[29] 8[29][30] 2005
16 METRORail  USA Houston 18,806,300 60,700 36.9 km (22.9 mi)[32] 2,651 2004[32] 37[33] 3[32] 2015[32]
17 TRAX (light rail)  USA Salt Lake City 17,899,600 57,700 72.1 km (44.8 mi)[34] 1,288 1999[35] 50[36] 3[36] 2013
18 Hudson–Bergen Light Rail  USA Jersey City,
New Jersey
16,691,558[37] 54,434[37] 27 km (17 mi)[38] 3,202 2000 24[39] 3[39] 2006
19 Valley Metro Rail  USA Phoenix 15,406,300 46,800 42 km (26 mi)[40] 1,800 2008[41] 35[40] 1 2016[42]
20 St. Louis MetroLink  USA St. Louis 13,210,200 39,400 74.0 km (46.0 mi)[43] 857 1993[44] 37[43] 2[45] 2006[46]
21 Sacramento RT Light Rail  USA Sacramento,
California
10,464,700 36,800 69.0 km (42.9 mi)[47] 858 1987[47] 53[47] 3[47] 2015[47]
22 VTA Light Rail  USA San Jose,
California
8,538,900 47,300 67.9 km (42.2 mi)[48] 1,121 1987[48] 62[48] 3[48] 2005[48]
23 Streetcars in
New Orleans
[note 3]
 USA New Orleans 7,712,900 18,800 35.9 km (22.3 mi)[49][50] 843 1835 streetcar-like surface stops 4[49] 2013[49]
24 Lynx Rapid Transit Services  USA Charlotte,
North Carolina
7,376,500 23,200 30.4 km (18.9 mi)[51] 1,228 2007[52] 15[53] 1[53] 2018
25 The T:
Pittsburgh Light Rail
 USA Pittsburgh 7,328,100 - 42.2 km (26.2 mi)[54] 1,057 1984 53[54] 2[54] 2012[54]
26 Baltimore Light Rail[note 2]  USA Baltimore 7,157,000 18,400 53.1 km (33.0 mi)[55] 558 1992 33[55] 3[55] 1997
27 San Francisco
cable car system
[note 4][note 3]
 USA San Francisco 6,286,900 15,700 8.4 km (5.2 mi) 3,021 1878[56] streetcar-like surface stops 3[13][57] 1952
28 Portland Streetcar[note 5]  USA Portland 5,627,588[58][note 6] 20,011[58][note 7] 11.83 km (7.35 mi)[59] 2,723 2001[59] 76[59] 2[59] 2012[59]
29 Newark Light Rail  USA Newark,
New Jersey
5,356,687[37] 18,505[37] 10.0 km (6.2 mi)[38] 2,985 1935 17[60] 2[60] 2006
30 Buffalo Metro Rail  USA Buffalo,
New York
4,492,200 16,000 10.3 km (6.4 mi) 2,500 1985 14[61] 1[61] n/a
31 O-Train  CAN Ottawa 3,922,500 15,500 20.4 km (12.7 mi)[62] 3,100 2001[63] 18[62] 2[62] 2019
32 River LINE  USA TrentonCamden,
New Jersey
2,869,707[37] 9,014[37] 55 km (34 mi)[38] 265 2004 20[64] 1[64] n/a
33 SPRINTER  USA Oceanside,
California
2,403,200 7,500 35 km (22 mi)[65] 341 2008[65] 15[65] 1[65] n/a
34 Seattle Streetcar  USA Seattle 1,686,500 5,500 6.1 km (3.8 mi) 1,447 2007[66] 17[67] 2[67] 2016[68]
35 RTA Rapid Transit:[note 2]
Blue, Green, and Waterfront Lines
 USA Cleveland 1,638,100 5,000 24.6 km (15.3 mi)[69] 327 1913[70] 34[69] 2[69] 1996[70]
36 Tide Light Rail  USA Norfolk,
Virginia
1,461,500 4,600 11.9 km (7.4 mi)[71] 622 2011[72] 11[71] 1[71] n/a
37 MATA Trolleys[note 3]  USA Memphis,
Tennessee
485,100[note 8] 0[note 8] 10.1 km (6.3 mi) 0[note 8] 1993[73] 25[74] 3[74] 2004[73]
38 TECO Line Streetcars[note 3]  USA Tampa,
Florida
423,000 1,700 4.3 km (2.7 mi)[75] 630 2002 11[76] 1[76] 2010
39 Atlanta Streetcar  USA Atlanta,
Georgia
280,800 300 4.3 km (2.7 mi) 111 2014 12 1 n/a
40 Sun Link  USA Tucson,
Arizona
n/a 4,000[77] 6.3 km (3.9 mi)[78] 1,026 2014 22[78] 1[78] n/a
41 CityLynx Gold Line  USA Charlotte,
North Carolina
n/a 1,500[79] 2.4 km (1.5 mi) n/a 2015 6 1 n/a
42 Dallas Streetcar  USA Dallas,
Texas
n/a n/a 3.94 km (2.45 mi) n/a 2015 6 1 2016
43 Ion rapid transit  CAN Waterloo, Ontario n/a 17,166[80] 19 km (12 mi) n/a 2019 19 1 n/a

Sources:

  • American Public Transportation Association - Transit Ridership Report - Q4 2016.[81]
  • 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.)

Excluded systems[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 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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