Baseball season means much more than cheering on the home team for local transit agencies – it means much more riders on game days! Major cities across the U.S. have struggled with accommodating the influx of passengers that occurs on game day, as a stadium’s worth of fans head to the game at the same time. Each city has a different plan in place to handle transit service on routes that serve stadiums during baseball season, and a couple have made the news recently.
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) offers an express bus service to Dodger Stadium on game days and even gives fans a free ride on opening day with a valid game day ticket. This service has been in place for 4 years now, with ridership growing and expected to continue on this trend. In 2012, 84% of those who took transit to the game used the Dodger Stadium Express bus. Funding for this route comes from grants – with $1.1 million grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) funding the next two seasons. The MSRC also funded service on the route last season, which brought 136,000 fans to Dodger Stadium.
Twin Cities, MN – When Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, was built 3 years ago, transit access was made a priority. Both the Hiawatha light rail line and the Northstar commuter rail line let passengers off at the gates of the stadium. They also have an express bus service, the Twins Express, which travels from a park-and-ride lot in the western metro area to the stadium via an HOT lane. While only 12% of fans take transit to the game, that number has reached as high as 25%, with growth expected for 2013. Monthly ticket giveaways also promote transit use on game day.
Transit agencies in both Los Angeles and Minneapolis collaborate with their respective major league baseball teams on advertising – with buses wrapped in baseball ads and transit ads displayed inside the stadium. A great idea that benefits both sides!
If you are looking to take Metro to a Cardinals game here in St. Louis, there are a number of transit options available and the Stadium MetroLink Station lets off right outside the third base gate! For your next game at Busch Stadium, try out Metro’s Trip Planner and see which transit route will get you to the game.
Source: Metro Magazine, May 2013