Ridership on Metro Transit's buses and trains is up 11% this year compared to last year at this time, with record numbers of trips taken on the agency's rapid bus lines fueling the growth.

Two of the Metro Transit's bus rapid transit (BRT) lines offering faster trips and more frequent service than traditional urban routes saw more riders than ever in May, and collectively four routes saw a 25% jump in ridership, according to figures released Tuesday.

"The continued success of our bus rapid transit lines shows that when we invest in frequent and reliable service, people respond," said Metro Transit General Manager Lesley Kandaras.

Numbers for the agency's Red Line, which runs from the Mall of America to Apple Valley, were not included in the data.

Last month, passengers took nearly 402,000 trips on the D Line, a record for the month of May since the line opened in 2022. For the year, ridership on the line running from the Brooklyn Center Transit Station to the Mall of America via downtown Minneapolis is up 31% with nearly 1.9 million trips taken.

The Orange Line set a May record, too. Passengers took more than 48,000 trips on the line running from downtown Minneapolis to Burnsville, and ridership is up 41% this year compared with the first five months of last year.

Metro Transit's oldest BRT route, the A Line from Minneapolis to Roseville, saw 16% growth compared to last year while ridership on the C Line connecting Brooklyn Center with downtown Minneapolis saw a 13% jump, Metro Transit data showed.

In total, passengers took more than 3.3 million rides on BRT lines during the first five months of the year, up 25% from a year ago. BRT rides have accounted for 17% of all rides taken on Metro Transit buses and trains this year, the agency said.

BRT lines offer faster service with fewer stops than regular routes. Passengers pay fares or swipe cards at kiosks before boarding to minimize the time buses are motionless at bus stops. Lines also have transit signal priority, giving them green lights more often.

Metro Transit is building three more BRT lines set to open in 2025. They include the Gold Line from downtown St. Paul to Woodbury; the B Line, to run on Lake Street in Minneapolis and Selby and Marshall avenues in St. Paul; and the E Line from Edina to the University of Minnesota.

Metro Transit plans to build four more BRT lines by 2030.