October 17, 2014

What is the busiest bus route in North America?

A quick Google, and you might think it’s Vancouver’s 99 B-Line:


Busiest 1


NAA closer read, and you can see that there’s a qualification:

As of 2010, the route was the busiest bus route in Canada and the United States,[2] with a 2011 average weekday ridership of 54,350 passengers.[1]

It depends, then, on what you consider “North America.”  Technically, it includes all 23 independent states as far south as Colombia – which means, of course, that Mexico is part of North America.

In which case …

560PX-~1In July 2005, the Metrobus corridor (in Mexico City) began operation on Insurgentes Avenue. It was the first BRT corridor in the city, extending over 20 kilometers (12.4 miles), with central stations. The number of passengers has rapidly increased since then from 250,000 daily in 2005 to 270,000 in 2007, an annual increase of approximately 10%.

In 2008, the corridor was extended nine kilometers (about 5.5 miles) to the south, and by the end of the year, the Line 2 in the Eje 4 Sur began operating twenty kilometers (12.4 miles) from east to west.
In 2009 the demand of the system grew to 480,000 daily passengers. In 2011 with the construction of the Line 3 in the Eje 1 Poniente, Metrobus increased 17 kilometers (10.5 miles), consolidating 67 km (41.6 miles), and 710,000 trips per day.


Maybe Darren Davis of Auckland Transport (who alerted us to these facts) can tell us what the daily volume of the Insurgentes line by itself is today – but one thing for sure: if the B-Line is going to be the busiest bus route in North America, it will need a few hundred thousand more passengers per day.  Even if it feels like it already has.

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  1. I’d say Mexico is Central America.
    Does this bus route have cars on them ?
    I believe daily ridership on Broadway is far higher than 50,000 a day as there are several bus lines , not just 99.

    1. México está en Norteamérica: ¡el límite del sur es el
      Río Usumacinta a través a Guatemala!
      Comparación de Broadway de Vancouver a Insugents de
      la Avenida de la ciudad de México es poco realista.

    2. Geographically, Mexico is in North America. Culturallly, it is not and is considered “Latin America”. Central America consists of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.

  2. Mexico is North America by any accepted definition. Central America – most of which is in North America – starts at Guatemala – by any accepted definition. Mexico isn’t part of it.
    There is a thing called NAFTA. That’s the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is one of the signatories. Because it’s in North America.
    The question is “what’s the busiest bus route in North America?” Can we agree that the 99 is a bus route? Can we agree that Broadway is not a bus route?
    We can still say that the 99 is the busiest bus route in English-speaking North America. That’s going to have to be enough, because the facts evidently don’t support the broader claim. We can still build a Broadway subway, though.

  3. There is a thing called NAFTA. That’s the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is one of the signatories. Because it’s in North America.
    and there is a thing called “European Union” of which Cyprus is a member…
    If Cyprus is in Europe, Turkey is too…
    Still, by any well accepted standard both are in Western Asia
    …and by the Way, Israel is full member of the UEFA (European soccer league)…
    so, you can prove anything…
    back to Mexico:
    By the well accepted UN standard.Mexico is in Central America:
    And That is eventually what Thomas and I have learnt in our respective European school
    and for purpose of meaningful comparison on many metrics, including transportaion metric, it is also the adopted one:
    In Mexico, you can pack close to 200 people in a an artics bus…in “North america”, people simply refuse to board the same bus with more than 100 people onboard…
    BTW, that is a reason explaining why a Mexican bus route can carry much more people thn a “north american” one.
    Another reason is the Insurgentes line is twice longer with 3 time as many bus stop as Broadway…

    1. I have visited Mexico many times since 1966 and travelled extensively Central and South America.
      I lived in Mexico City for nearly two years 1997-8 as a visiting lecturer at UNAM cand have visited since.
      May I assure you Voony there is a world of difference either side of Rio Usumacinta that does not replicate either side of Rio Bravo!
      When next you visit La Ciudad take a persero piqueña to Santa Fe. There you will see the similarity North/South especially La Lavendra!
      The crass development of Santa Fe, very much in the North American idiom, contrasts vividly with the more sophisticated Puerto Madero en Buenos Aires.

  4. PS. . . comparing Mexico, or Bogota you don’t have to forget we have very different “comfort” standard.
    “different “comfort” standard” Oh really Voony! I didn’t notice the two years I rode Broadway when I attended SCARP for two years.
    In my experice the hard edged interior decor of the standard pesero is pretty much the same as Translink’s standard fare!

  5. Mexico City’s rapid bus lines really compare more to a subway line than a bus line. They operate in dedicated lanes not shared with traffic. Boarding is done at special stations which are very subway line and require fare payment when you enter the station rather than when you enter the bus. And interestingly enough they have a higher cachet (and fare) than Mexico’s subway. This type of system would not be cheap to install but is very efficient and it must still be much cheaper to build than a rail system. A comparison would be interesting. Although as a solution for Broadway it seems unlikely as it requires taking two traffic lanes, something easiest done in cities with very wide streets.