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Public Transportation Ridership Report

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

AMERICAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION

Press Release

The demand for public transportation rose last year as Americans took 10.5 billion trips, the second highest ridership since 1957, and 154 million more trips than the previous year, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the seventh year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide.

“In 2012, U.S. public transportation ridership grew at a record level as Americans took 10.5 billion trips. This is the second highest ridership since 1957, and it shows that there is a growing demand for public transportation,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “Every mode of public transportation showed an increase in ridership. Public transit ridership grew in all areas of the country – north, south, east, and west — in small, medium and large communities, with at least 16 public transit systems reporting record ridership.”

“Considering the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on some of the nation’s largest systems, this record level of ridership is truly significant,” said Melaniphy.

According to APTA, 74 million trips were lost when public transit systems from Washington, D.C. to Boston were shut down due to Hurricane Sandy and the blizzard that followed the next week.

“Two big reasons for the increased national transit ridership are high, volatile gas prices and in certain localities, a recovering economy with more people returning to work,” said Melaniphy. “Public transportation saves people money, and people save even more so when gas prices spike. Also, since nearly 60 percent of trips taken on public transportation are for work commutes, it makes sense that ridership increases in areas where the economy has improved and new jobs have been added.”

Noting that people are changing their attitudes regarding travel, Melaniphy said, “There is a sea change going on in the way that people look at transportation. Americans want travel choices; they want to be able to choose the best travel option for their lives. This is an exciting time for the public transportation industry as more and more Americans support it and want it.”

Melaniphy also pointed out that more Americans are supporting public transportation investment, as evidenced by the large number of transit-oriented ballot initiatives that passed in 2012. “Last year 49 out of 62 transit-oriented state and local ballot initiatives passed,” said Melaniphy. “That means there was a nearly 80 percent passage rate. This extremely high rate of success demonstrates how important public transportation is to people and to communities.”

Download full report (PDF): 2012 Public Transportation Ridership Report

About the American Public Transportation Association
www.apta.org
“To strengthen and improve public transportation, APTA serves and leads its diverse membership through advocacy, innovation and information sharing. APTA and its members and staff work to ensure that public transportation is available and accessible for all Americans in communities across the country.”

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