U.S. Transit Ridership Soaring

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.

"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

Full Story: Riders crowd public transit systems



Comparing US 1957 to US 2006

US 1957: 171,984,130
US 2006: 298,444,215

We certainly don't want to go into boardings per completed one way transit trip which has gone up even more.

awww, come on.....

We're talking percentages, here, aren't we? Not raw numbers? don't throw those numbers out there like they mean something, they don't mean anything. What are you trying to prove?


"We're talking percentages, here, aren't we?"

No. You fell for the lie. Sad.

Michael Lewyn's picture

Read more carefully

The story points out that since 1995, the rise in transit ridership has actually been AHEAD of population. Obviously, that wasn't true between 1957 and 1995.




you're just plain wrong. Did you even read the article? How can you say otherwise? seemed to be full of percentages to me.

have fun in your car, though. you must really enjoy it.



There's a reason 1995 is such a common baseline for comparison. 1995, transit’s ridership was the lowest
in two decades and down more than 10 percent from 1989. More than one-half of
transit’s gain since 1995 was simply recovering its losses from 1989.

You want percentages? In 2006 1.6% of urban passenger travel was via transit. LOWER than in 1995 on a percentage basis.

Get rid of the personal attacks. They don't belong here. Not liking the truth nor the messenger in anyway diminishes the message.

1995 As Turning Point

There's a reason 1995 is such a common baseline for comparison. 1995, transit’s ridership was the lowest in two decades

That statement doesn't discredit the statistics. It just means that transit use was declining until 1995 and has been increasing since 1995 - which is exactly what the statistics say.

Imagine someone in 1907 saying that cars would never be important because only 1% of urban passenger travel is by car and 99% by rail. Things changed during the 20th century, and they will also have to change during the 21st century. The question is how much damage we do before we are willing to change.

Charles Siegel

Why 1995?

You are correct but don't you agree the date takes on far more importance when placed in historical context?

Your analogy doesn't hold however. We have a century of POV gaining market share and since you use percentages then since 1995 transit has been losing market share as well.

I guess this would be a good time to bring out "ridership" and service provision. The article 30% ridership growth but makes no mention of service expansion nor the changes in reporting standards that now count "riders" as a much greater "ridership" for the same completed one way trip.

I'm interested in the comment that "damage" that can be reversed/prevented by switching from POV to transit.

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