Metro Transit sets single-day ridership record

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Metro Transit Green Line train at Hamline Ave. station on April 17, 2019
A Metro Transit Green Line train arrives at Hamline Avenue Station on April 17, 2019.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

More people used Metro Transit trains on April 8 than they have on any other day. That's according to a new ridership report released Friday by the transit agency.

The trains provided more than 130,000 rides that day; the same day the NCAA men's championship basketball game was held at US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

That surpassed the previous record by 8,000 rides said Wes Kooistra, Metro Transit general manager.

"That's more rides than what we provided when US Bank opened the regular season for the Vikings in its first year on that Monday night football game," he said.

Kooistra added that while the record number also includes daily ridership, the previous record — 122,000 rides — set on the day of the Vikings home opener in 2017 was also on a Monday.

"So that was comparable," said Kooistra.

He said the Final Four weekend was also busy. There were 160,000 more rides on the trains than would normally occur during the same period, said Kooistra.

Metro Transit officials said extra trains and transit officers were deployed to help handle the crowds. Kooistra added that while there will likely be a few small things the transit service can improve on the next time there's a major event, the assessment he heard from staff was straightforward.

"We killed it," he said. "It went really well."