The Silver Line’s wheels are in motion. So how did Michigan’s first bus rapid transit line perform in its first week? Let’s take a look.
We wanted to put the numbers in context, so we pulled Route 1-Division’s ridership from this same week a year ago. One question we received throughout the Silver Line’s development was whether it would attract new riders, or if the existing Route 1 ridership would simply transition to the new service. Comparing the ridership figures in the chart below, it is clear that the Silver Line is attracting new riders with only minimal impact on Route 1. With daily growth ranging from 61 percent to 88 percent, the Silver Line has many new riders interested in experiencing what bus rapid transit has to offer.
It is important to keep in mind that service was free this first week, and there was a lot of positive buzz in the media and on-line leading up to and through the opening. So while some of those new riders were there to sample the service and see how well it met their needs, it’s likely that some were riding just to be a part of this exciting first for our community. We expect that the convenience and overall experience of the Silver Line will keep riders coming back, particularly those that usually commute on 131. In the weeks to come, we’ll continue to track and report on ridership as people consider permanently changing their travel habits and more standard patterns of usage emerge.
Have you had a chance to ride the Silver Line?
**Please note, this ridership data is considered preliminary as we begin to use automated passenger counters (APCs) on the Silver Line in place of the farebox data that generates our other fixed-route ridership reports. We’ll be doing manual checks over the next few weeks to ensure that the APCs are working as expected. Tracking and reporting accurate ridership data is important to us.