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October MBTA ridership tops 37 million, breaks record

MBTA passengers took a record number of trips in October.
MBTA commuters await their bus at Kenmore Square on Monday.Nicolaus Czarnecki, Metro

Ridership on the MBTA reached a new high of 37 million in October, despite a fare increase of 5 percent in July.

This past October, the MBTA recorded 37.28 million passenger trips, according to figures released Monday by the transit agency. The ridership is 1.5 percent higher than October 2013, which had held the previous record for monthly ridership, according to MBTA Spokeswoman Kelly Smith.

The record-breaking month came three months after the MBTA implemented a five percent fare increase across all modes of transportation. Transit officials seem optimistic about the surge.

"While a majority of transit systems lose riders after a fare hike, the MBTA has attracted more riders than ever before," Smith said in an email.

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Any additional revenue that is realized through the surge in ridership is reinvested in the t's aging infrastructure that requires an extraordinary level of maintenanc, Smith said.

“The numbers reinforce what we’ve stated time and time again,” MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said in an emailed statement. “If you provide commuters with safe and reliable public transportation services, they will not be deterred by a modest increase in fares.”

On a typical weekday in October of this year, an average of 1.377 million passenger trips were made throughout the MBTA system, according to the T.

General Manager Scott said ridership increased on a number of modes, including the subway, Commuter Rail, and Commuter Boat.

For Fiscal Year 2015, which began the same day the fare increase took effect, on July 1, MBTA ridership is outpacing Fiscal Year 2014 at a growth rate of 1.2 percent.

Despite the fare increase, T riders are apparently saving money.

Last month, the American Public Transportation Association’s November Transit Savings Report found that MBTA passengers saved about $13,298 annually, or roughly $1,108 per month.