The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority saw a slight uptick in ridership in 2017, rising 1 percent from 2016, the transit agency announced Friday.

The state's second largest transit agency provided 2,924,364 rides last year, the second highest total in the agency's history

Express routes from the southern suburbs to downtown Minneapolis accounted for 64 percent of the MVTA's ridership. Of its top 10 routes in terms of ridership, six served downtown Minneapolis. Leading the way was Route 460 from Burnsville  to downtown Minneapolis with 408,286 rides followed by Route 477 from Lakeville and Apple Valley with 351,536 rides.

Other routes with more than 100,000 rides included Route 465 from Burnsville to Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota (243,340), Route 470 from Eagan to downtown Minneapolis (117,652) and Route 490 from Prior Lake and Shakopee to downtown Minneapolis (116,884).

Another route, No. 495 which runs between Shakopee, Burnsville and the Mall of America in Bloomington, saw steady growth, the agency said. Monthly ridership jumped from 3,526 in November 2016 to 10,714 in November 2017.

The route, which serves the new Amazon Fulfillment Center, will begin stopping at Mystic Lake Casino starting Saturday.

“With growing congestion and construction projects in the metro, public transit offers an inexpensive alternative to commuters and transit-dependent riders while also getting more vehicles off the roads,” said MVTA Executive Director Luther Wynder.

MVTA is the public transit provider for the south metro cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Prior Lake, Rosemount, Savage and Shakopee.

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