U.S. Transit Ridership Soaring

<p>The American Public Transportation Association reported that transit ridership on US systems is at its highest levels since 1957, having increased for the last three consecutive years. Light, heavy, and commuter rail, respectively, led the increase.</p>
March 14, 2007, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The rise in 2006 came as gasoline prices increased, coming within pennies of the all-time record, not adjusted for inflation, reached following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "Certainly, a lot of the growth last year was with the high gas prices," APTA President William Millar says.

But Millar says a number of other factors, such as increased road congestion and improved transit service, were also likely in play. Ridership was up 4% in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, even though gas prices had fallen from their earlier peaks, APTA says."

"Public transit use is up 30 percent since 1995. That is more than double the growth rate of the population (12 percent) and higher than the growth rate for the vehicle miles traveled on our roads (24 percent) during that same period. In 2006, public transit ridership grew 2.9 percent over 2005." (from APTA news release)

"Light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) had the highest percentage increase among all modes, with 5.6 percent increase in 2006."

Thanks to ABAG-MTC Library

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Published on Monday, March 12, 2007 in USA Today
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