Press Release from the Regional Transportation Authority; Oct. 12, 2010:
NASHVILLE – Ridership on the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) Music City Star topped 1,000 passenger trips per day twice last month and continues to rise.
Ridership on the train has increased from 614 passenger trips per day in December 2008 to 866 passenger trips per day in September 2010, which is an increase of 41 percent since the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) became the new management team less than two years ago.
On September 28, 1,006 passenger trips were recorded, marking the second time in as many weeks that more than 1,000 passenger trips were taken on the state’s only regional rail service. Earlier in the month, the Star had 1,015 passenger trips, the most trips recorded on the train for a single day of regular weekday service in several years.
A third train car was added to the Music City Star earlier this year due to increasing ridership. Since then, the upward ridership trend has continued.
“More people are choosing public transportation for their way to get around,” RTA Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Ballard said. “We believe this ridership trend will continue as more people realize the many wonderful benefits that transit offers to them and the environment.”
Over the past four months, ridership has steadily increased. In June, average daily ridership was 801, followed by 843 in July and 852 in August. The average daily ridership of 866 in September represents an increase of 8 percent compared to June.
“As someone who has ridden the Star since the beginning, it is exciting to see more people realizing how great it is to travel by train,” said Sheila Varga, a daily rider and president of the Regional Commuters Association. “I am confident that this is just the beginning of the trend in increasing ridership.”