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Memphis - November 2012

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Memphis — Ridership Growing

November 2012

As reported by the www.commercialappeal.com web site, ridership growth on Memphis' downtown streetcar was the highest among American light rail systems during the first and second quarters of 2012. The American Public Transportation Association reported the 45.7% growth over the prior year, far ahead of Salt Lake City and Seattle, which were the next two highest growers.

Total ridership for the year ending June 2012 was the highest in the 19-year history of the streetcar line. The Memphis Area Transit Authority has been working more closely with hotels and organizations to promote trolley use during Downtown events, such as the River Arts Festival.

Paul Morris, president of the Downtown Memphis Commission, attributes much of the increase due to the growth of downtown as a residential, tourism, and entertainment hub. Apartment occupancy rates for downtown are around 93 percent, and even higher on the Main Street corridor, and restaurants and other attractions are luring large numbers of visitors, he said. Morris says there are a few primary categories of trolley-users — including commuters, like himself, who go to and from work, along with tourists sightseeing and local residents heading to restaurants. "It's the most interesting, entertaining way to travel Downtown," he said.


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