List of United States light rail systems by ridership

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The following is a list of all light rail systems in the United States, ranked by ridership. Also included are those urban streetcar/trolley systems that are providing regular public transit service (i.e. operating year-round and at least five days/week). This list does not include statistics for metro/rapid transit systems (see: the List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership for those). Daily and annual ridership figures are based on "average weekday unlinked passenger trips" (where transfers between lines are counted as two separate passenger "boardings" or "trips"). The annual ridership figures for 2016 and average weekday ridership figures for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016 come from the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Ridership Reports statistics for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016,[1] unless otherwise noted (e.g. NJ Transit systems). References with supplementary (i.e. non-APTA) ridership figures are included in the System column.

List[edit]

System Largest city
served
Annual
Ridership
(2016)[1]
Avg. daily
weekday
boardings
(Q4 2016)[1]
System
length
Avg. daily
boardings
per mile
(Q4 2016)
Year
opened
Stations Lines Year
last
expanded
1 MBTA light rail:[note 1]
Green Line & Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line[note 2]
Boston 69,236,700 226,500 26 miles (42 km)[2] 8,711 1897;[3]
1929
74[2] 5[2] 2004;
n/a
2 Metro Rail light rail:[note 1]
Blue, Expo, Gold & Green Lines
Los Angeles 65,829,000 211,700 98.5 miles (158.5 km)[4] 2,149 1990[4] 80[4] 4[4] 2016[4]
3 Muni Metro[note 1][5]
(incl. E Embarcadero[note 2] & F Market[6][7][note 2])
San Francisco 52,597,300 164,300 35.7 miles (57.5 km)[8] 4,602 1912;[9]
1980[8]
152[7][8] 9[6][8] 2007
4 MAX Light Rail[note 3] Portland 40,240,300 124,200 60 miles (97 km) 2,070 1986 97 5 2015
5 San Diego Trolley[note 3]
(incl. Silver Line[10][note 2])
San Diego 38,068,600 114,500 53.5 miles (86.1 km)[11] 2,140 1981[11] 53[11] 4[10][11] 2005[11]
6 DART[note 3] Dallas 29,619,500 101,500 93 miles (150 km)[12] 1,091 1996[13] 64[12] 4[14] 2016[13]
7 SEPTA light rail:[15][note 1]
Subway–Surface Lines, Suburban Trolley Lines & Girard Ave Trolley[note 2]
Philadelphia 25,127,600 82,000 68.4 miles (110.1 km)[16][17] 1,199 1906 >100[16] 8[16][17] 2005
8 Denver RTD[note 3]:
C, D, E, F, H, R, and W Lines
Denver 24,585,000 75,900 58.5 miles (94.1 km)[18] 1,297 1994[19] 62[18] 7 2013[20]
9 METRO Light Rail[note 3] Minneapolis-St. Paul 22,963,500 72,900 21.8 miles (35.1 km)[21][22] 3,344 2004[21] 37[21][22] 2[21][22] 2014[22]
10 TRAX (UTA) and S Line[note 3] Salt Lake City 19,220,300 64,300 46.8 miles (75.3 km)[23][24] 1,374 1999[25] 56[26] 4[26] 2013
11 Central Link[note 3] Seattle 19,121,621[27] 52,388[note 4] 20.4 miles (32.8 km)[28] 2,568 2009 15[28] 1[28] 2016[29]
12 METRORail Houston 18,335,800 56,600 23.8 miles (38.3 km)[30][31] 2,378 2004[31] 44[30] 3[30] 2017[30]
13 Valley Metro Rail[32] Phoenix 16,322,800 51,200 26.3 miles (42.3 km)[33] 1,947 2008[34] 35[35] 1[34] 2016[36]
14 Hudson–Bergen
Light Rail
[note 1][37]
Jersey City 15,450,736[38] 51,867[38] 17 miles (27 km)[38] 3,051 2000 24[39] 3[39] 2011
15 MetroLink St. Louis 15,343,900 45,800 46 miles (74 km)[40] 996 1993[41] 37[40] 2[42] 2006[43]
16 Sacramento RT Light Rail Sacramento 12,286,600 41,300 42.9 miles (69.0 km)[44] 963 1987[44] 53[44] 3[44] 2015[44]
17 Santa Clara
VTA Light Rail
[note 3]
San Jose 9,931,100 29,900 42.2 miles (67.9 km)[45] 709 1987[45] 62[45] 3[45] 2005[45]
18 RTA Streetcars
in New Orleans
[note 2]
New Orleans 8,084,400 24,900 22.3 miles (35.9 km)[46][47] 1,117 1835 streetcar-like surface stops 4[46] 2013[46]
19 The T:
Pittsburgh Light Rail
Pittsburgh 7,783,100 21,324[note 4] 26.2 miles (42.2 km)[48] 814 1984[note 5] 53[48] 2[48] 2012[48]
20 San Francisco
cable car system
[note 2][note 6]
San Francisco 6,910,000 17,700 5.2 miles (8.4 km) 3,404 1878[49] streetcar-like surface stops 3[7][50] 1952
21 Baltimore Light Rail[note 1] Baltimore 6,888,500 22,800 33 miles (53 km)[51] 691 1992 33[51] 3[51] 1997
22 Newark Light Rail[note 1][37] Newark 5,724,544[38] 19,994[38] 6.2 miles (10.0 km)[38] 3,225 1935 16[39] 2[39] 2006
23 Charlotte Area Transit System:
Blue and Gold Lines
Charlotte 5,147,500 16,400 11.1 miles (17.9 km)[52] 1,477 2007[53] 20[52] 2[52] 2017 (planned)[54]
24 Buffalo Metro Rail Buffalo 4,899,700 17,500 6.4 miles (10.3 km) 2,734 1984 14[55] 1[55] n/a
25 Portland Streetcar[note 7] Portland 4,623,520[56][note 8] 15,248[56][note 9] 7.35 miles (11.83 km)[57] 2,075 2001[57] 76[57] 2[57] 2015[58]
26 River LINE[note 1][59] Trenton-
Camden
2,830,339[38] 8,954[38] 34 miles (55 km)[38] 263 2004 20[60] 1[60] 2013
27 SPRINTER[note 3][61] Oceanside
-Escondido
2,600,700 8,500 22 miles (35 km)[62] 386 2008[62] 15[62] 1[62] n/a
28 RTA Rapid Transit:[note 10]
Blue and Green Lines
Cleveland 2,485,900 6,810[note 4] 15.3 miles (24.6 km)[63] 445 1913[64] 34[63] 2[63] 1996[64]
29 Tide Light Rail Norfolk 1,399,500 4,300 7.4 miles (11.9 km)[65] 581 2011[66] 11[65] 1[65] n/a
30 Tacoma Link[note 3] Tacoma 937,885[27] 2,570[note 4] 1.6 miles (2.6 km)[28] 1,606 2003 5[28] 1[28] n/a[67]
31 DC Streetcar Washington, D.C. 745,400 2,800 2.4 miles (3.9 km) 1,167 2016 8 1 n/a
32 Seattle Streetcar[note 3] Seattle 518,300 1,900 3.8 miles (6.1 km) 500 2007 21 2 2016
33 Sun Link Tucson 460,737[68] 2,313[68] 3.9 miles (6.3 km)[69] 593 2014 22[69] 1[69] n/a
34 Atlanta Streetcar Atlanta 371,000 700 2.7 miles (4.3 km) 259 2014 12 1 n/a
35 TECO Line Streetcars[note 2] Tampa 294,600 600 2.7 miles (4.3 km)[70] 222 2002 11[71] 1[71] 2010
36 MATA Trolleys[note 2] Memphis 0[note 11] 0[note 11] 6.3 miles (10.1 km) 0[note 11] 1993[72] 25[73] 3[73] 2004[72]
37 KC Streetcar Kansas City n/a n/a[74] 2.2 miles (3.5 km) n/a 2016 10 1 n/a
38 Dallas Streetcar Dallas n/a n/a 2.45 miles (3.94 km) n/a 2015 6 1 2016
39 Cincinnati Bell Connector[75] Cincinnati n/a n/a 3.6 mi (5.8 km)[76] n/a 2016[77] 10[76] 1 n/a

Gallery[edit]

Systems excluded from ridership table[edit]

The following light rail systems have been excluded from the ridership table above:

System Largest city served Opened Route length Reason(s) for exclusion from Ridership table
Galveston Island Trolley Galveston, TX 1988[78] 6.8 miles (10.9 km)[78] Galveston's heritage streetcar trolley system is non-operational – it has suspended its service since September 2008 due to damage from Hurricane Ike.
Kenosha Streetcars Kenosha, WI 2000[79] 2.0 miles (3.2 km)[79] This heritage streetcar system is primarily a tourist system (e.g. does not operate daily, year-round), rather than a transit system; Kenosha's transit systems are too small to be tracked by APTA.
Metro Streetcar Little Rock, AR 2004[80] 3.4 miles (5.5 km)[80] This heritage streetcar system is primarily a tourist system, rather than a transit system; APTA does not provide ridership figures for this system.
River Street Streetcar Savannah, GA 2009 1.0 mile (1.6 km) This heritage streetcar system is primarily a tourist system, rather than a transit system; APTA does not track this system.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h This system also has a heavy rail rapid transit/metro portion (see List of metro systems), and connections to a commuter rail system; the ridership figures and statistics presented here represent the light rail portion of the system only.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i This line or system is operated using heritage streetcars.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k This system also has available connections to a commuter rail system; the ridership figures and statistics presented here represent the light rail portion of the system only.
  4. ^ a b c d This is the Average Daily Ridership figure, not an "Average Weekday Ridership" figure – it is averaged from the 2016 Total Ridership figure for this system.
  5. ^ As current incarnation of light rail.
  6. ^ May or may not qualify as "light rail" (or as a true "mass transit" system),[to whom?] but is included in this table for comparison purposes (and due to its ridership statistics being tracked by APTA).
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ This annual ridership figure is for Fiscal Year 2015.
  9. ^ April 2016
  10. ^ This system also has a heavy rail rapid transit/metro portion (see List of metro systems); the ridership figures and statistics presented here represent the light rail portion of the system only.
  11. ^ a b c The MATA Trolley system has completely suspended operations since Q3 2014 due to maintenance issues.

References[edit]

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  51. ^ a b c "Visitors Ride Guide" (PDF). Maryland Transit Administration. Retrieved 2013-07-14 – via http://mta.maryland.gov/content/visitors. 
  52. ^ a b c "LYNX Home". Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
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  58. ^ [1]
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