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Data & Statistics

Austin, US: Bus ridership trends [free access]

June 1, 2021

Between 2014 and 2019, the overall bus ridership in Austin remained fairly stable and increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.4 per cent. Ridership growth was witnessed in the case of MetroRapid, a bus rapid transit (BRT) network (CAGR of 32.4 per cent) and MetroExpress, a bus service servicing North Austin and the surrounding areas (CAGR of 5.5 per cent). The increase in ridership can be attributed to an increase in the frequency and reliability of services.

 

Table 1 provides information about ridership on the bus services operated by the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro).

 

Table 1: Bus ridership between FY2014 and FY2020 (‘000 passengers)

Year

MetroBus 

MetroRapid 

MetroExpress 

FY2014 

24,833.3

1,263.1

577.3

FY2015 

22,277.3

2,740.4

538.3

FY2016 

21,705.1

2,712.7

520.2

FY2017 

21,333.8

3,400.4

506

FY2018 

20,038.8

4,505.5

588.2

FY2019 

21,270.6

5,134.6

755.1

FY2020* 

6,136.6

1,350.7

224

 Note: *- Data from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020

Source: Capital Metro

 

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic


Due to the pandemic, the overall bus ridership in the city has declined by over 40 per cent, with ridership declining by over 50 per cent across all services from April 2020 onwards. The maximum decline in ridership has been witnessed in the case of MetroExpress. The year-on-year (Y-o-Y) ridership of this service declined by nearly 100 per cent between April and December 2020.

 

Table 2 provides information about ridership in 2019 and 2020.

 

Table 2: Ridership on bus services in 2019 and 2020 (‘000 passengers)

Month

MetroBus

MetroRapid

MetroExpress

2019

2020

2019

2020

2019

2020

January 

1,767 

1,906.3 

395.7 

428.1 

57.2 

71.6 

February 

1,856 

1,986.3 

402.9 

429.9 

59.6 

71.2 

March 

1,956.7 

1,496.4 

451 

309.4 

62.3 

37.9 

April 

2,058.9 

844 

449.3 

170.1 

67.5 

0.3 

May 

1,967.9 

977.3 

432.2 

186.8 

63.7 

0.6 

June 

1,767.9 

948.3

405.1

187.8

68.8

1.1

July

1,843.4

927.7

437.5

189.6

73.3

1.3

August

1,949.8

988.4

447.5

201

78.1

1.8

September

2,185.3

1,048.5

468.6

202.3

81.8

2.5

October

2,332.5

1,136.4

514.9

214.1

93.9

3.4

November

1,977.9

1,060.5

432.4

196.6

70.9

2.9

December

1,826.1

1,006.2

403.4

201.4

59.2

2.5

Total

23,489.5

14,326.3

5,240.5

2,917.1

836.2

197.1

Source: Capital Metro

 

The figure below summarises the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in ridership.

 

Figure: Y-o-Y change in ridership (%)


Source: Capital Metro