Jun 29, 2023 - Transit

Taylor Swift fans filled up trains in Minneapolis

Swifties on a train

Swifties board a light rail train after Friday night's concert. Photo courtesy of Metro Transit

Metro Transit said 129,000 people used light rail trains on Friday and Saturday as Swifties packed transit to get to and from U.S. Bank Stadium.

  • That's double the ridership of a normal Friday-Saturday for the Green and Blue lines.

Why it matters: Transit advocates are crediting Taylor Swift with pushing people to use public transportation and swaying transit agencies to offer more off-peak service for things like concerts.

Yes, but: It took public pressure for Metro Transit to extend train service last weekend in Minneapolis.

  • It is going to have to adapt to a world in which people use transit less for commuting and more for entertainment and errands.

What they're saying: "What Taylor Swift is doing, and I thank her for this — although I don’t know she intended to — is proving that if you give people better, reliable transit alternatives, they’ll take it," Jim Aloisi, an MIT lecturer and former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, told CNN.

Of note: Hotel bookings for the weekend in Minneapolis broke an all-time record, according to Meet Minneapolis.

  • The city's 10,268 rooms were 94% occupied on Friday night and 96.3% filled on Saturday night.
  • The Twin Cities Pride festival also helped drive room bookings, Meet Minneapolis said.

Zoom out: Other cities with Taylor Swift concerts, including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, also saw big transit ridership increases.

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