Tri-Rail Has One of the Best Pandemic Recoveries Among All US Commuter Rails
County Commissioner Robert S Weinroth wants residents of the tri-county area to know the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) has had much to celebrate lately, despite a year (and a half) of living through a worldwide pandemic and all of the effects that came along with it.
The agency’s Tri-Rail service was reported to have the second highest ridership recovery among commuter railroads in the U.S., per the American Public Transportation Association’s Public Transportation Ridership Report for First Quarter 2021, and since then continues to show one of the biggest percentage ridership increases in the nation.
“We are the comeback kid,” said Steven Abrams, SFRTA Executive Director. “August numbers show we have more than half of riders back onboard Tri-Rail on weekdays and over 60% on weekends.” Tri-Rail ridership plummeted 80% when the pandemic hit, but trains are now transporting more than 8000 riders regularly. The agency reached 9,000+ passengers for the first time since March 2020 on September 1, 2021.
Tri-Rail recently celebrated reaching 100 million passengers served on July 9, 2021, after 32 ½ years of service. One indicator that has certainly helped attract more riders is the train system’s recent on-time performance (OTP), reported at 96.76% in August 2021. This is the highest OTP reported in the agency’s history, surpassing the previous record set in July 2019 at 96.64%.
“Our success in surviving the pandemic is due to the support of our loyal riders, our dedicated staff, and the greater community,” said Abrams. “Tri-Rail enables thousands of workers and students to safely and affordably get to work and school and takes cars off the road for everyone else,” Abrams added. “That is why we take our mission so seriously and look forward to continuing to be an asset to South Florida’s residents and visitors.”