On two EmX lines, actual ridership was about one-third less than predicted, according to LTD.
A recent public records request asked LTD for estimated and actual ridership for three EmX lines: Franklin, Gateway, and West Eugene.
LTD responded Monday, March 14 with detailed ridership numbers for 2019, before the pandemic. The Franklin line exceeded expectations, but the other two did not. The ridership forecast was too high, they said.
The full text of LTD’s response follows:
From: Lane Transit District Records Services
Date: March 14, 2022 at 1:41:07 PM PDT
Subject: [External Message Added] Lane Transit District public records request #22-10
Below is the responsive information to your request.
Franklin EmX: LTD was not required to do opening day ridership. This was funded through an earmark so the requirements were different. We surpassed the 20 year ridership estimates within the first year of operations, significantly beating the forecasts.
Gateway EmX: Opening day ridership was projected to be 3,698 average weekday boardings. The actual 2011 weekday average was 2,378, which had increased to 2,576 average weekday boardings in 2019. We believe the projections for Gateway EmX were off because of land use that was assumed in the modeling that never occurred. During the modeling process, Gateway was viewed as a major growth opportunity in Springfield. In reality, Sony pulled their operations from the area before the project opened.
West Eugene EmX: Opening day ridership was projected to be 7,399 average weekday boardings. In 2017, LTD recorded 3,404 average weekday boardings. By 2019 average weekday boardings were up to 4,787. We believe the forecasts were too high because they were conducted at the peak of LTD’s ridership following the 2008 financial crisis. Ridership on the whole system was over-predicted based on that data.
Another recent public record request sought public comments relating to the MovingAhead project. LTD provided the following two PDF documents in response: