The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority saw an uptick in ridership in 2017, rising 1 percent from 2016, the agency announced.
The state’s second largest transit agency provided 2,924,364 rides last year, the second highest total in the agency’s history.
Express routes from the southern suburbs to downtown Minneapolis accounted for 64 percent of the MVTA’s ridership. Of its 10 busiest routes, six served downtown Minneapolis. Leading the way was Route 460 from Burnsville to downtown Minneapolis with 408,286 rides, followed by Route 477 from Lakeville and Apple Valley with 351,536 rides.
Other routes with more than 100,000 rides included: Route 465 from Burnsville to Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota (243,340); Route 470 from Eagan to downtown Minneapolis (117,652); and Route 490 from Prior Lake and Shakopee to downtown Minneapolis (116,884).
The 495 route, which runs between Shakopee, Burnsville and the Mall of America in Bloomington, also saw steady growth, the agency said. Monthly ridership jumped from 3,526 in November 2016 to 10,714 in November 2017.
The route, which serves the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, will begin stopping at Mystic Lake Casino starting Saturday.
MVTA Executive Director Luther Wynder touted public transit as “an inexpensive alternative to commuters and transit-dependent riders while also getting more vehicles off the roads.”
MVTA is the public transit provider for the south metro cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Prior Lake, Rosemount, Savage and Shakopee.