Transit Ridership Data
ABQ RIDE Ridership Statistics by Route
What You Should Know
ABQ RIDE tracks route ridership through the use of a "farebox"; each time someone boards a bus an appropriate farebox key is activated by the bus driver or automatically by the farebox.
In the accompanying tables, one table shows total ridership by route by transit service type. In a second set of tables, ridership information is combined with schedule information to show the number of boardings per in-service hour, by route, by time of day, and by service type.
The routes are categorized by route type in each table: Rapid Ride routes, Local all-day routes, and Commuter routes (routes that operate only during peak morning and evening commute hours and in the peak commuting direction).
- Routes are shown in order by overall ridership, from highest to lowest.
- Boardings are the number of times people get on a bus – commonly called "ridership." Five people boarding a bus = five boardings.
- An "in-service hour" is one hour that an individual bus is operating in service for people to ride. If two buses are used on a route for an hour each, whether at the same time or at different times, that is two in-service hours.
- Boardings per in-service hour are the total boardings divided by the total in-service hours over the course of a specified time period.
Why These Numbers Matter
Total ridership by route tells us how heavily each route is used and is useful as an overall gauge of how much benefit the route provides to the community. But it does not take into account the number of in-service hours operated on each route.
If a route does not operate many in-service hours, its ridership will naturally be lower than a route that operates a lot of in-service hours.
Boardings per bus per hour (in service) measures both ridership and how much service is provided on a route – basically how "busy" the route is per day.
Why Measure by Time of Day?
Transit ridership varies according to the time of day, just as roads are less used late at night. By doing this, we are able to identify routes that may need more service at specific times of day or see which routes are used at peak commute times and used less at other times.
Occasionally, certain times of day will be less productive but are considered important because they allow bus riders to use the bus at other times of the day.
For example, someone who works in the evening may go to work in the afternoon peak time and return at night; if less productive evening service were eliminated, that person wouldn't be able to ride the bus at all resulting in a loss of both evening and afternoon ridership.
What Are Other Important Things to Consider?
A route with low productivity might be important to maintain if it's the only transportation in an area for people without a vehicle. Something else to consider is boardings per hour compared with the length of passengers' trips.
For example, a route that has many passengers who ride all the way from one end of the route to the other might not have very high boardings per hour, but it might be considered crowded compared to other routes because there are infrequent de-boardings from the buses until arrival at the primary destinations – everyone's on the bus at the same time.
Why Concentrate on These Statistics If Other Factors Are Important, Too?
ABQ RIDE considers other factors in making any decisions about service changes on a case-by-case basis and may develop other system-wide statistics in the future if needed. However, total ridership and ridership per in-service hour are two measures that are essential statistics to consider in all cases.
The underlying data is readily available, and they provide basic indications of the value of the service to the community and the value generated per unit of service provided.