Applauding the Bus: Transit's Unsexy Workhorse

Though new streetcars, light rail, and subway projects get much of the attention, the lowly bus does most of the heavy public transit lifting across the U.S. Even in rail-heavy cities like Philadelphia and Chicago, bus ridership exceeds trains.
December 22, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"As I looked through the latest 2012 American Community Survey data to see how transit use has grown or fallen in various cities since 2000, something else stuck out: How many bus riders there really are, even in the few big cities with large rail networks," writes Stephen J. Smith. "While the urban transit stereotype may be a straphanger on a subway, there are actually only three large cities in the U.S. — New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. — where most commuters use rail."

"Given that ridership growth is most likely to come on existing transit systems, as yesterday’s analysis showed, improved buses will play an important role in transit mode share increases (or decreases) in the future."

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Published on Thursday, December 19, 2013 in Next City
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