Transit Ridership Continues its Slow Recovery

Ridership grew by 16 percent between 2022 and 2023.

1 minute read

April 11, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


two riders wearing masks during the covid-19 pandemic exit a blue city bus in the Bronx in New York City.

eddtoro / Shutterstock

Public transit ridership grew by 16 percent in 2023, bringing it up to 79 percent of pre-pandemic levels across the board.

However, as Dan Zukowski explains in Smart Cities Dive, “stark differences emerged in ridership across modes, with bus transit reaching 81% of 2019 ridership as of December 2023 and commuter rail ridership lagging at 65%.”

Transit riders took 7.1 billion trips in 2023, down from 9.9 billion in 2019, in large part due to shifting work patterns and low office occupancy. “Transit ridership recovery is due to non-commuting trips, APTA says, along with the rebound of non-office jobs such as those in restaurants and bars.”

Ridership in smaller cities grew slightly more than in bigger cities. “That’s because smaller cities tend to serve fewer riders with the option of teleworking, APTA says.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Smart Cities Dive

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