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Miami Bus Ridership Down 34% Since Uber Started Service

Miami Bus Ridership Down 34% Since Uber Started Service

Ridership on public transportation in Miami continues to rapidly decline.

The decline in passengers has been accelerating, according to Miami Dade Transit’s April 2018 Ridership report. For the most recent month (January 2018), Metrobus ridership dropped 15.6% compared to the same month in 2017, continuing a trend of double digit losses.

Average weekday ridership was just 162,300, compared to a peak above 260,000 in February 2014. Overall, Metrobus ridership is down 34% from January 2014. Metrorail and Metromover also saw losses, although not as sharp.

Miami’s population has seen strong growth during the same four-year period. The most recent census data (July 2017) showed Miami-Dade’s population was up 107,862 compared to July 2013.

The drop in ridership means even bigger losses for Miami-Dade Transit, which now loses an average of $4.90 for every passenger carried, compared to $4.03 the prior year.

Both Uber and Lyft started service in Miami during 2014, when the decline started. There also new trolley services, but with much smaller numbers (Miami’s trolley carries less than 15,000 riders daily, while Miami Beach is under 10,000).

Uber recently introduced a cheaper Express Pool option, although competitor Lyft generally offers much lower prices.

 

(photo: phillip pessar)

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Ridership is declining because service is third world on dirty buses that can’t be relied upon……period.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Buses have to compete against free trolleys and uber.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Am I reading this correctly? If the city is paying $4.90 per passenger — on 162,300 passsenger a day – the city is paying $795k a day or $290M a year? Even if the number is $1M, we should put the money elsewhere. The market has spoken – bus ridership is in massive decline – why would we spend any of our money on this – and the data clearly shows the decline is going to continue and therefore the cost per passenger will continue to increase. What could $1.5B over 5 years by us? A tunnel, investments in our school system, wage increases for our city workers, teachers, etc etc etc.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Of course it’s going to continue.
The city is going to get geographically bigger, population will continue to swell, but I see it and it’s depressing, buses are running empty, or perhaps one passenger. That’s the fate of our American cities: no central core, parking lots everywhere, suburban sprawls and mega gated communities.
Perfect formula for dependency on a car.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It has nothing to do with third world service, even if our buses were top of the line this would still be happening. The bottom line is that people prefer to hop on a car with comfortable seats and cool A/C rather than wait for a bus in the heat and humidity for who knows how long. And yes they are willing to pay more for it, I know I am. Given the option of driving, taking a bus, or getting a Lyft/Uber I will always chose the latter.

Miami Hurricane
Miami Hurricane

I am curious to what extent car ownership has decreased per capita*

*Not net ownership as we know traffic continues to worsen despite infrastructure overhauls e.g. 826/836 mix master at Port Miami…

Oscar
Oscar

Correlation does not equal causation.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Glad you said it. I opened this article ready to make the same comment.

Anonymous
Anonymous

True. The economy has improved remarkably as well. Could be that if people can afford an alternative, they will choose to avoid those sneering, nasty, bus drivers.

Paul
Paul

Historically, bus ridership has increased during times of higher employment.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I took the bus the last week for the first time in my 28 years here in Miami, and I have to say, its not that bad. The buses them selves are pretty crappy but the bus was quick and got me from Dadeland to 107 and Kendall drive in about 11 min. So i cant complain, its much cheaper than an uber as well.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Glad to hear you had good experience…. But the problem is that is not consistent enough….more work is needed to make this experience the norm

LOL
LOL

Of course it wasn’t that bad. You took it through one of the nicer sections of Miami.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Let’s face it, the private sector has completely disrupted public transportation and thankfully this will continue to happen especially as massive tech firms like Google jump in with both feet, since municipalities such as Miami obviously cannot manage these services profitably. I will also say, and I’m ready for the backlash it’s okay I’m a grown man, that I can see why Giminez is having a hard time commiting to a long term solution with a bunch of capital since other major disruptors will enter the space as well, like hyperloop as a longer term example for multi city trips and of course briggtline that is connecting to existing infrastructure already in place. I’m selfish in that I would focus more on completing the River walk and a tunnel at the horrific brickell bridge, as well as a mover extension to midtown and wynwood as density there increases, while any line to the beach should consider a public private solution or even pure private for the very reasons stated earlier, but hey what do I know…

Paul
Paul

Uber and Lyft aren’t profitable either. They are operating at huge losses so that they can monopolize the rideshare market at which point they plan to jack up prices.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Eliminate buses and add more rails!

LOL
LOL

But but but mayor Giminez says rail is old technology!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Soon he expects us to use Aladdin’s flying carpets to get work now. Watch!

Anonymous
Anonymous

How much does **UBER** lose per trip?

Anonymous
Anonymous

There is no appetite for public transportation unless it’s convenient.. like taking the metrorail to a Heat game.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Ridership is not there… this is why government is reluctant to invest in public transportation in South Florida.

marc
marc

and government is the cause of cutbacks which in turn cause maintenance issues which in turn cause terrible unreliable service which in turn effects ridership.

Anonymous
Anonymous

All things being equal, taking Lyft or Uber is my first choice. Miami-Dade is a big area and buses and rail is slow and time-consuming.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Ridership is there, but buses are competing against a free trolley and metromover taxpayer backed systems.

Anonymous
Anonymous

A fee should be added to each uber trip that goes fund transit.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Good Idea, NYC already does this. It should be implemented here as well.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Just put a tax on Uber/Lyft trips that are for the same routes. The last thing US1 needs are people going from Dadeland to UM or even Brickel when there is a train.

Ban short routes in Brickell/Downtown. That area is a mess.

Polo
Polo

That idea doesn’t work in Miami. Remember the half a penny tax increase in 2002 to expand transportatin in Miami-Dade? Those extra funds didn’t get us anywhere.

BDub
BDub

Right. Funds went to operating expenses instead of capital projects. Except for Metrorail spur to “airport” which requires transfer to another train that drops you with a long walk to the terminal.

Anonymous
Anonymous

There is no walk to the terminal. There is a free overhead feeder train to the terminal.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I did it on Friday. Horrible! Never again.
#1. Just the walk from Terminal D to the MIAMover had my FitBit congratating me on daily beats. 2 out of 5 moveable walkways were under repair.
#2. There is no A/C in those corridors connecting the Terminals to the Parking/ MIAMover path.
#3. You have to wait a long time for the MIAMover to the Rental Car Facility (on Friday the 13th, one Mover was Out of Order)
#4. Once you get to the RCF, you have to hoof it another 1/2 mile, pay $2.65 (?), and down escalators to the Metrorail.
Try all that wearing a business suit, trailing a carry-on and laptop bag.
#5. Then arrive in Brickell, drag luggage through the station and for a few blocks.
OR
Tap the Uber App, step out of the A/C, walk 5 or 6 paces, sit in the A/C for 20 minutes, pay $13, and step into your home. 5 Stars.

Anonymous
Anonymous

yes, let’s shovel more money from hardworking residents and tourists into a completely broken transit system.

how about we solve MDT’s chronic absenteeism problem first?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Totally agree
As well as a small tax to gasoline to fund expansion and service improvement

Anonymous
Anonymous

No. People who chose to ride Ubers should pay for it, and people who chose to ride the bus should pay for it.
I’ll bet Miami-Dade Bus drivers make 10x’s more than Uber drivers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The majority of our local government members spent most of their childhood in the back seat of their mothers’ Studebaker Station wagons. That is the only reason why Maimi’s public transportation sucks.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Dict forget the extraordinary costs associated with Labor Union contracts and bloated bueauracracies

Anonymous
Anonymous

Instead of adjusting service to meet or generate demand, the incompetent bureaucrats that run MDT will just whine and moan about services like Uber that people happily pay more to use. Then try to tax them to make up for their stupidity.

There’s been one (yes only 1) notable schedule change to Metrorail since it started and that’s the 2 (yes only 2) express services. There’s no reason they can’t do non-stop, 1 connection service for every Heat and upcoming MLS game from the Dadelands and Palmetto. Even hourly non-stop MIA service would be worth at least trying.

Anonymous
Anonymous

How’s municipal trolley ridership?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hell, it’s gotta be good because it’s free!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hint: It’s not. These pseudo trolleys are the worse.

Uncomfortable, loud, noisy, pollute lots. They should be using real low-floor hybrid buses.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Totally agree
It’s embarrassing when small cities in Europe like Dresden, Zurich, Strasbourg to name a few have excellent trolley service that run on dedicated lines on city streets

Anonymous
Anonymous

Agree re Zurich service -to see how different it is to ride the trams there-google zurich trams 2017 for YT video.

JorEl Vasco REALTOR. IG: @m.i.a.m.i_agent
JorEl Vasco REALTOR. IG: @m.i.a.m.i_agent

I would love to see an article about the accounting & allocation of non returned change. Yes these machines do have coin returns that can be loaded to provide change. The county simply chooses not to provide this facility at the detriment of riders. Take a looksy the next time you ride.

The current fee to ride our buses is 1.25 Adult Fare. If you were to pay using 2 dollars bills, you can simply ride. $.75 just went South.
But where did it go?
Do they actually account for this positive offset?
How are they compensating the public?Furtherore, how badly does this skew the cost\profit per rider when analized?

Forced inflation for a starving system by means of structural theft of 75cents per rider.

Not to mention that if you are short 25 cents you are getting off at the next stop. Even if the person before you just chucked in the 2 dollar bills.

JorEl Vasco
Miami REALTOR
Bayside Realty
786-486-5997
IG: @m.i.a.m.i_agent

Anonymous
Anonymous

As long as gas is cheap and parking is a God given privilege why would anyone ride a bus?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Service is terrible since Alice Bravo was appointed. The system was improving and growing before her. Uber has very little impact on transit ridership.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I use bus and/or trirail often to go to both MIA and FLL airports from Northeast Miami-Dade. I prefer to leave my car parked at home and prefer to pay $5 public transit cost than the $29 Uber/Lyft. I’m not cheap, I just enjoy using this transit option.

I find the bus to be okay and Trirail to be great. I’ve ridden public transit all over the world also Uber/Lyft/Grab.

The main drawback is the trip by public transit takes me about 90 minutes and the Uber/Lyft trip takes about 30 minutes.

One major failure of Miami-Dade transit IME is the county’s transit app “real-time” bus location feature never, never works. The app will say (for example) “next 93 bus arrives in 3 minutes”, is never correct (not even remotely correct). So riders never know when the next bus on their route will come to the stop. This is a major “fail” of Miami-Dade transit IMO as the GPS real time apps in cities with minimal busses (as ours have….busses every half hour on some routes) are a feature that make these public transit systems usable.

Anonymous
Anonymous

No one willingly uses public transportation.It’s inefficient…inconvenient…and all-around messy.Technology is making apologists & defenders look evermore isolated.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Am I reading this correctly? If the city is paying $4.90 per passenger — on 162,300 passsenger a day – the city is paying $795k a day or $290M a year? Even if the number is $1M, we should put the money elsewhere. The market has spoken – bus ridership is in massive decline – why would we spend any of our money on this – and the data clearly shows the decline is going to continue and therefore the cost per passenger will continue to increase. What could $1.5B over 5 years by us? A tunnel, investments in our school system, wage increases for our city workers, teachers, etc etc etc.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They are LOSING $4.90 per rider. Presumably, some riders are paying the bus fare. IDK…$2.50? So even with paying customers, they are LOSING money on each ride (assuming they will make up the difference in volume).

Anonymous
Anonymous

The county needs to seriously upgraded their services. Reason why uber and lyft are popular because they are modern. They have the apps

Anonymous
Anonymous

Traffic would flow much better without busses. And budgets for the busses could be diverted to vouchers for low income people to utilize the much more efficient new means of transport such as Lynx.

Anonymous
Anonymous

How about, eliminate half the buses and give the poor on those routes $4.90 Uber vouchers.
The bottom tier (based on customer service feedback) bus drivers making $60k can start driving Ubers.
(Not serious…just trying to provide perspective)

Anonymous
Anonymous

You don’t build Rapid Transit and a Bus system and then allow Uber and Lyft to move into town knowing that your transit systems along with Cabs will now have to compete with them. Wouldn’t this kind of debacle be expected then?

Anonymous
Anonymous

When they built terrorism and mta nobody could have dreamed of these disruptive new technologies. It is not just transportation the technology will completely change. Everything is changing.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Um terrorism should be metrorail. Spellchecker is out to lunch.

Anonymous
Anonymous

How do you get terrorism out of metrorail? Read what you write before posting.