Metro Riders

When Metro axed the Eureka Express bus in 2009, Mary Bolte and nine other regular riders temporarily paid a limo service to shuttle them back and forth to work until the line was restored several months later.

"It was pretty nice," said Bolte, a longtime bus rider who lives in Fenton. "We had happy hours — especially Friday nights — and watched TV."

When the express bus returned later that year, she and others did, too. Still, she added, there are people who left for good.

Overall, Metro has seen only modest growth in passenger boardings since March 2009 transit service cuts led to massive ridership losses. Passenger boardings on Metro buses, MetroLink and Call-A-Ride collectively grew to nearly 43 million during the 12-month period ending June 30.

While that was a near 6 percent bump compared with the previous one-year period, it is still well below the 53.8 million boardings during the year ending June 30, 2008. Because some passengers board multiple trains or buses during a single trip, the counts are inflated somewhat.

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