TriMet: MAX rail trips climb, bus trips tumble in January

In January, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) registered 7.9 million rail and bus trips, down 2.6 percent compared with January 2009 ridership.

The weak economy and a double-digit unemployment rate continue to impact ridership, primarily bus trips, TriMet officials said in a prepared statement.

In January, weekly trips declined 0.9 percent to 2 million; weekday trips dropped 0.8 percent to 321,600; weekend trips decreased 1.2 percent to 314,300; and rush-hour trips fell 2.1 percent to 104,000.

On the MAX light-rail system, weekly trips rose 11.4 percent to 716,500; weekday trips increased 11.2 percent to 116,700; weekend trips jumped 12.5 percent to 132,800; and rush-hour trips went up 9.6 percent to 35,500.

Meanwhile, the WES commuter-rail line averaged 6,150 weekly trips and 1,230 weekday/rush-hour trips in January.

Is that an increase over the previous month’s WES ridership?  I could have sworn it was only at about 5k last month.  Either way, this is kind of more of the assumed and expected results.  Rail up w/ the new lines and bus ridership down since TriMet is cutting ENTIRE LINES.  I hope people are not assuming things with these results.  That would be unfortunate, which leads me to believe that they probably are.

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81 Comments

  1. Adron, considering that Trimet has increased max service by 25%, and decreased bus service by some unknown % it makes perfect sense does it not?
    Actually the max ridership increase is poor given the % increase of services available.
    Also many of those riders came directly off the trimet bus system.
    My point is, these stats are as phony as a six dollar bill.

    Reply

  2. Al M – I agree totally with "My point is, these stats are as phony as a six dollar bill."

    They aren’t particularly not true, but they are phony in the sense that they aren’t representative of the ridership trends or an appropriate and truthful analysis of the ridership based on a proper context. TriMet publishing the ridership trends month to month is all fine and dandy, but without historical context mapped against an appropriate timeline of service cuts, one cannot accumulate an accurate view of what ridership is acting upon or why it is trending the way it is.

    So phony is a good way to put it. Another way to put it is, "grossly misleading and not representative of events that should be associated with the particular trending".

    Or more simply, TriMet is either enjoying the misrepresentation they’re giving to the city and using it for their ends for what they deem they ought to do versus what should be being done or they’re just outright using factual information to create a lie to coerce people to be persuaded into thinking that what they’re doing is the most ideal thing.

    Either way, it is dishonest use of data.

    Something that is horrendously frowned upon in my industry of web analytics. People’s lives are directly made or destroyed by the accurate and truthful use of correlative information.

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