MTS Reports Highest Ridership Since Start of COVID-19 Pandemic as Gas Prices Soar – Times of San Diego

MTS trolley
An MTS trolley in downtown San Diego. Courtesy MTS

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System announced Thursday it has seen a significant spike in transit ridership in recent months, and even more so in recent weeks as gas prices continue to soar.

Estimates from last week show ridership was up to nearly 200,000 trips per weekday (197,000) for the week of March 7-11, which is approximately 70% of the pre-COVID baseline.

“MTS was budgeting for an 11% increase in ridership over last fiscal year. Our new estimates show ridership will jump 45% over the previous year,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS chief executive officer. 

San Diego MTS ridership July through February compared to last fiscal year. Courtesy MTS

Trolley ridership has grown to more than 80% of pre-pandemic level, MTS said. The UC San Diego Blue Line experienced a 33% ridership increase since the extension opened on November 21.

MTS developed a commute calculator for residents interested in learning about the cost of driving versus taking transit.  

The transit agency operates more than 100 bus routes and three trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego.