Transit Use Reflects a Downward Trend

The ability of residents and workers to move efficiently within San Bernardino County contributes to a higher quality of life and a more prosperous business climate. An effective public transit system is essential for individuals who cannot afford, are unable, or choose not to drive a car. Having both rail and bus service is important for meeting diverse transit needs, with rail serving mostly longer-distance commuters and buses serving mostly local commuters. This indicator measures ridership on the commuter rail system, as well as ridership and operating costs for San Bernardino County’s five bus systems, which offer bus service coverage to more than 90% of the county’s population.

Train Departing Santa Fe Station in San Bernardino County

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

Commuter Rail Ridership

San Bernardino Line, Riverside Line, Inland Empire/Orange County Line, and 91 Line, 2010-2018
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Source: San Bernardino County Transportation Authority

Rail ridership declined slightly in 2017/18:

  • In 2017/18, ridership on all Metrolink lines having at least one station serving San Bernardino County totaled 5.98 million riders, a 1% decline from the previous year.
  • Since 2010, ridership on the Inland Empire/Orange County Line and 91 Line increased by 31% and 27%, respectively.
  • In contrast, the San Bernardino Line and Riverside Line decreased since 2010, by 14% and 18%, respectively.
  • Overall, since 2010, rail ridership has trended downward by 11%.

Bus Ridership

San Bernardino County, 2011-2018
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Note: Beginning 2015/16, the City of Barstow and portions of the county joined the Victor Valley Transit Authority, expanding its service area. Source: San Bernardino County Transportation Authority

Bus ridership in San Bernardino County continues to decline:

  • In 2017/18, there were 14,006,939 bus passenger boardings, a one-year decrease of 4%. Bus ridership dropped 20% overall since 2010/11.
  • Bus boardings for Omnitrans were 8.3 per capita in 2016, compared with 10.5 in 2013, a drop of 21%. The cost per boarding increased to $4.83 per trip, a 17% increase in one year.
  • Victor Valley Transit boardings per capita decreased to 4.5 per capita in 2016 compared with 5.3 in 2013. Cost per trip increased to $6.07 in 2016, up from $5.00 the previous year.
  • Ridership decreased and cost per trip increased in 2016 for all regions compared.

Bus System Boardings per Capita and Operating Costs

Regional Comparison, 2016
2017Boardings per CapitaCost per Trip
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority34.7$4.20
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas)31.3$2.40
Miami-Dade Transit23.2$6.26
San Diego Metropolitan Transit System20.2$3.31
Valley Metro (Phoenix)19.7$4.09
Orange County Transportation Authority13.9$4.76
Sunline Transit Agency (Coachella Valley)9.6$6.51
Riverside Transit Agency4.0$6.72
Victor Valley Transit Authority3.9$7.55