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September 2023 Ridership Trends

October 18, 2023

System-wide ridership in September was 64% of pre-COVID September 2019 ridership.

System-wide ridership increased 13% from September 2022. On average there were approximately 77,893 more riders per day in September 2023 compared to September 2022. This is based on the calendar month.

Average daily ridership was 682,241 unlinked passenger trips across all modes. 

System-wide ridership in September was the highest since the start of the pandemic.

Bus, Trolley, and RRD modes all experienced the highest ridership since the start of the pandemic.

Bus Routes with a 15 minute or greater frequency are carrying 74% of baseline ridership. The five routes with the highest recovery rates include Rt. 47M (109%), Rt. 49 (105%), Rt. 42 (88%), Rt. 21 (86%), and Rt. 77 (85%).

On Buses - Sunday recovery is the strongest however weekday ridership has experienced strong growth in September. Ridership recovery is strongest during the midday hours (9AM – 3PM). During the 2PM and 7PM hours - the ridership recovery is over 80%.

Bus ridership is based on APC data. These numbers do not reflect any fare evasion or unpaid fares; however they are an accurate representation of actual ridership.

On Trolleys - ridership recovery is at 62% as of September 2023 when compared to the pre-COVID September 2019 total. September ridership was the highest both in terms of the total number of unlinked passenger trips and recovery rate.

Ridership recovery on Regional Rail is at 51% as of September 2023 when compared to the pre-COVID September 2019 total. Ridership has also increased 14% relative to September 2022 (an increase of 8,611 unlinked trips per day). This is the highest total ridership number since the start of the pandemic.

Ridership on the Broad Street, Market-Frankford, and Norristown High Speed Lines has increased 23% relative to September 2022. Heavy rail ridership is at 56% of prepandemic levels based on revenue ridership data. This is the highest recovery rate since the start of the pandemic. It is important to note that the methodology for calculating Heavy Rail ridership has been adjusted this month to account for the high rates of fare evasion. The ridership in past months is likely higher than what has been reported. This increase in ridership does not correlate to an increase in revenue.

Note: Regional Rail ridership is based on financial data; Metro is a combination of APC (trolley routes) and revenue (BSL, MFL, NHSL).