September 30, 2014
More than 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in
the second quarter of 2014, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association
(APTA) — a 1.1% increase over the same quarter last year, representing
an increase of 30 million more trips. Public transportation ridership
outpaced urban vehicle miles traveled (VMT) which grew at 0.97% for this
Noting that in five of the last eight quarters, ridership on U.S.
public transportation has increased, APTA President/CEO Michael
Melaniphy said, "Public transportation ridership continues to grow
nationally, showing that federal investment in public transit is paying
off. With greater travel options, peoples' lives improve and communities
MetroRail, the commuter rail line for Austin, Texas, reached record
ridership for the second quarter. Its ridership has quadrupled since it
was launched in 2010. With the new light rail system that opened in
April 2013 in Denver light rail
ridership reached record numbers with an increase of 8.1% in the second
quarter. Seattle's five year old light rail line saw another record
quarter with a quarterly ridership increase of 17%, marking 20
consecutive quarters of double digit growth.
Ridership reached record numbers in several systems across the
country. For example, Capital District Transportation Authority (Albany,
N.Y.), Spokane Transit (Spokane, Wash.) and Stark Area Regional Transit
Authority (Canton, Ohio), saw quarterly record ridership numbers, as
did San Mateo County's commuter rail line Caltrain (San Carlos, Calif.).
New York’s Long Island Rail Road saw the highest ridership for the
month of June since June 2008 when gas prices were very high.
Ridership increases were due to a number of factors including high
gas prices and recovering local economies. Nationally, the average cost
of a gallon of gas in the second quarter was $3.75.
Nationally, heavy rail ridership increased by 3.2%; light rail
ridership increased by 2.8% in the second quarter of 2014; commuter rail
systems increased by 3.1% in the second quarter; bus ridership
decreased nationally by 1.2%, although in cities with populations of
less than two million, bus ridership increased; demand response
(paratransit) increased in the second quarter of 2014 by 2.2%; and
trolleybus ridership decreased by 3.8%.
To view APTA’s ridership report, click here.