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Cirrus Nov 22, 2017 4:32 PM

What is the busiest individual bus line in your city?
Hi. I'd like to build a list of the most heavily-ridden individual bus lines in each US urbanized area. Throw in Canada too. If you know this information for any city, please provide it here (round to the nearest thousand)! If possible please provide a reference, but I'll take it on hearsay if that's all you've got.

I'm compiling the data using this google spreadsheet, and am also getting some responses via twitter, so you will see numbers on the spreadsheet that don't come from this thread.

Thank you!

Cirrus Nov 22, 2017 4:34 PM

A few I know off the top of my head:
  • DC's busiest line is generally the Georgia Avenue line, which carries about 20,000 riders per day. Sometimes it jockeys with the 16th Street line and the Pennsylvania-Wisconsin Avenues line, which also carry about that many. But the key piece of info is that buses here are topping out at about 20k/day.
  • Denver's 16th Street Mall shuttle carries about 45k/day.
  • Vancouver's Broadway buses carry about 56k/day
  • Cleveland's HealthLine BRT at 14,000/day

I imagine a lot of cities have buses in the 20k/day range, but more than that is probably pretty rare. I know about Denver & Vancouver because they're exceptions.

muertecaza Nov 22, 2017 4:47 PM

Phoenix's busiest line is Route 29, which runs pretty much the length of Thomas Rd., a major E-W arterial. The ridership is only about 10,000/weekday.

UrbanNebraska Nov 22, 2017 5:10 PM

Omaha's busiest line is Route 2 which runs West/East on Dodge Street from Downtown to Westroads Mall. Anyone familiar with Omaha will know that Dodge Street is the defining thoroughfare in the city.

The city received a TIGER Grant to implement BRT on this route due to the high usage. Peak times will go from 15 mins between buses to 10 mins along with the other amenities usually associated with BRT. The branding is ORBT("Orbit").

electricron Nov 22, 2017 5:11 PM

Dallas’ Dart bus route with the largest ridership is the Parkland Shuttle, Route 703 with 4,885 riders per weekday which circulates within the Medical District.. The largest fixed bus route ridership is Jefferson-Bexar, Route 11 with 4,300 riders per weekday which connects Oak Cliff with South Dallas via Downtown Dallas.

Fort Worth’s FWTA bus route with the largest ridership is the Spur, Route 89 with 4,325 riders per weekday which connects East Lancaster Avenue with Downtown Fort Worth.

JManc Nov 22, 2017 5:21 PM

In Houston, Westheimer #82 is the busiest bus line but can't find any numbers and Metro totally revamped the entire bus route system last year so probably why nothing out there yet.

White Pine Nov 23, 2017 1:45 AM

IIRC Vancouver has the busiest bus line in North America. I hope someone who lives there can talk about it lol. I do know that they are trying to bring rail transit to that corridor.

EDIT: Wikipedia says it's the biggest ridership in Canada/USA at 55,000, and now I see it's been mentioned.

jd3189 Nov 23, 2017 1:55 AM

Palm Tran Route #1 is probably the busiest one in Palm Beach County. I can't find stats on the website but I know it's always crowded and has an express line in addition.

volguus zildrohar Nov 23, 2017 4:04 AM

Route 23 in Philadelphia had been the busiest bus route in the city for years but that changed after the route was cut in two for time saving purposes. Route 18 now takes the mantle running through the NW part of the city.

KVNBKLYN Nov 23, 2017 4:40 AM

In New York, the Bx12 (local and SBS) carried 48,124 per day in 2016.

From the MTA's website

Austin55 Nov 23, 2017 12:23 PM

I posted this on Twitter but here are all of Fort Worths routes from 2015.

Citylover94 Nov 23, 2017 2:46 PM

The two busiest lines in Boston are the 66 (14,676 riders) and the 39 (14,405 riders) source. Overall Boston just isn't a city that buses work very well in because of the road network lacking large arterial streets in most of the city because of that the buses are mostly used to feed the subway system. One clear example of this is that combining all the buses that serve Somerville in the area where the Green Line Extension (GLX) will take over providing service they only carry 16,900 riders while the GLX is expected to carry 52,000 riders per day in the same service area.

Sun Belt Nov 23, 2017 3:23 PM

San Francisco - 38 - Geary St. claims to have 55,270 average daily boardings.

Busy Bee Nov 23, 2017 3:53 PM

According to the 2016 ridership report, the Cta #79 79th St Bus has the highest weekday ridership in the system at 26,830 daily boardings.

Doady Nov 24, 2017 12:14 AM

In Mississauga, the 19 Hurontario had 20,554 boardings per weekday in 2012. The 103 Hurontario Express had 7,248 per weekday.

Toronto's busiest routes in 2012:

32 Eglinton West 48,684
35 Jane 45,699
36 Finch West 43,952
39 Finch East 41,434
29 Dufferin 39,721
25 Don Mills 39,066
54 Lawrence East 36,277
60 Steeles West 29,819
34 Eglinton East 29,501
53 Steeles East 28,050

LA21st Nov 24, 2017 2:00 AM

I think LA"s Wilshire Rapid bus is 40,000-50,000 daily riders.

NSMP Nov 24, 2017 2:43 AM


Originally Posted by LA21st (Post 7996074)
I think LA"s Wilshire Rapid bus is 40,000-50,000 daily riders.

62,000 between the 18/20/720 after the recent 20% decline

LMich Nov 24, 2017 10:53 AM

In a service area of around 300,000 people, CATA's Route #1 (Michigan Avenue) is the busiest in the Metro Lansing, Michigan carrying a bit over 6,900 riders on an average weekday.

Innsertnamehere Nov 25, 2017 5:52 PM

Toronto's busiest surface loot is the King Streetcar at 65,000, but it's not a bus. I believe Eglinton West was a little above 50,000 a few years ago, but it has dropped significantly given the construction of the new underground LRT along it's route that is planning to replace it.

Pedestrian Nov 25, 2017 9:33 PM


Muni bus service along Geary Boulevard is provided by the 38 Geary bus line, which is the most heavily used bus line in (San Francisco) with over 50,000 passengers per day, and over 100,000 passengers per day in adjacent lines (1 California, 2 Clement, 31 Balboa).

There have long been plans to install BRT on Geary Blvd but the merchants have fought it tooth and nail because it would usurp parking for dedicated right of way and because of the construction disruption of business. Many San Franciscans are less than enthusiastic because we think it should be rail transit anyway but they claim the BRT could eventually go rail.

Addendum: Sunbelt above says it's 55,000.

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