The number of passengers using the Tyne and Wear Metro has risen above 40m for the first time in more than 15 years.
Operator Nexus said the increase was due in part to more people using extended services to Sunderland.
The Sunderland line, which cost £100m and opened in 2002, was used by 3.5m passengers in the 12 months to April - 36,000 more than the previous year.
Nexus plans to further increase the number of trains to Sunderland in an effort to build on the line's success.
Nexus director general Bernard Garner said: "This is great news for Metro users in Sunderland.
"This will also help us build on another record-breaking year in which passenger numbers reached a 16-year high of 40m.
"The entire Sunderland part of the Metro line clearly has a big role to play in helping us to improve on that figure."