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 Transit Ridership Increases in All Modes in Third Quarter of 2005


Even With Decline in Gas Prices in November, Strong Ridership Trend Continues As More Than 25 Agencies Show Double Digit Increases

With high gas prices in the third quarter of 2005, national transit ridership grew by 3.3 % from the same period in 2004, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) today. At the same time that transit ridership was increasing during the 2005 third quarter, Americans parked their cars and vehicle miles of travel (VMT) decreased by 0.2%, according to the Federal Highway Administration statistics. Additionally, a recent survey of transit systems conducted by APTA indicates that this growing ridership trend continued in November, despite a drop in gas prices that month.

"The increased ridership results of the third quarter, combined with the November ridership increases, indicate that more and more Americans want other options besides the automobile," said APTA President William W. Millar. "Transit ridership was on the move in 2005 and I fully expect that it will continue to grow as more people discover the convenience and affordability of public transportation."

The 2005 third quarter report shows that all types of public transportation showed increases. Light rail showed the largest increase at 8.8%. Some cities and one state had larger light rail increases than the national average: Minneapolis (70.9%), Tampa (22.1%), Sacramento (18.2%), Los Angeles (15.9%), San Diego (15.1%), Houston (14.8%), and New Jersey (14.1%).

Commuter rail showed the second highest national ridership increase for the 2005 third quarter of 4.6%. Larger individual ridership increases were experienced in the following areas: Chesterton, IN (10.4%), Philadelphia (9.9%), Harrisburg (8.9%), San Carlos, CA (7.9%), New Jersey (6.7%), Los Angeles (5.7%).

Heavy rail (subway) lines across the country averaged a 4.3% increase. Some major increases in heavy rail ridership were experienced in the following localities: Cleveland (7.8%), Los Angeles (7.7%), Philadelphia (7.6%), Boston (7.3%), Washington (6.3%), Chicago (6.2%), Jersey City - Port Authority of NY/NJ (5.4%), and Staten Island (5.0%).

Other types of public transportation showed the following increases: Bus (2.5%), Demand Response (3.2%) and Trolleybus (0.2%).

APTA recently conducted a survey of 86 large and small U.S. transit agencies regarding November ridership figures to see if ridership trends continued, even as gas prices declined. This survey indicated 88% of the agencies reported transit ridership continued at higher rates than a year earlier, despite the fact that gas prices went down in November. In some places, transit systems reported increases in double digits.

Agencies showing an increase in ridership in November 2005 from the previous November were as follows:

Ann Arbor, MI 19.5%
Antioch, CA 10.0%
Atlanta, GA (Xpress) 121.0%
Austin, TX 7.3%
Big Bear Lake, CA 14.0%
Burlington, VT 6.8%
Canton, OH 63.0%
Centralia, IL 5.3%
Charlotte, NC 9.5 %
Chicago, IL 2.9%
Columbus, OH 5.2%
Dallas, TX 14.9%
Denver, CO 7.8%
Durham, NH 12.0%
Eden Prairie, MN 16.7%
Eugene, OR 9.7%
Flint, MI 20.0%
Fort Worth, TX 18.5%
Fort Wright, KY 6.0%
Grand Rapids, MI 18.8%
Hartford, CT 2.1%
Houston, TX 14.9%
Ithaca, NY 12.8 %
Jersey City, NJ (Port Authority of NY & NJ) 13.0%
Johnstown, PA 7.1%
Kansas City, MO 13.0%
Knoxville, TN 12.9%
Lafayette, IN 3.0%
Lansing, MI 4.4%
Logan, UT 19.7%
Los Angeles, CA (LACMTA) 9.0%
Los Angeles, CA (SCRRA) 7.0%
Louisville, KY 6.4%
Milwaukee, WI 3.8%
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN 4.3%
Montebello, CA 3.0%
Montgomery, AL 20.3%
Muncie, IN 13.5%
New Haven, CT 5.6%
New York Metropolitan Area - Northern Suburbs 4.5%
- New York City 2.0%
- Long Island 3.2%
North Little Rock, AR 15.2%
Oakland, CA (Capitol Corridor) 4.8%
Oklahoma City, OK 17.0%
Owensboro, KY 2.0%
Painesville, OH 7.0%
Palm Bay/Melbourne, FL 12.9%
Palm Beach, Fl 6.9%
Phoenix, AZ 7.4%
Phoenix Metro Region, AZ 8.0%
Pittsburgh, PA 2.0%
Prince George's County, MD 12.0%
Reno, NV 12.4%
Research Triangle Park, NC 8.1%
Richland, WA 4.7 %
Sacramento, CA 1.0%
Salt Lake City, UT 17.7%
San Antonio, TX 13.8%
San Bernardino, CA 3.2%
San Diego, CA 9.4%
San Francisco, CA 6.5%
San Luis Obispo, CA 21.0%
San Mateo County, CA 0.8%
Santa Clara County, CA 5.5%
Seattle, WA 4.6%
Snohomish County, WA 8.8%
Spokane, WA 5.1%
State College, PA 1.7%
St. Louis, MO 9.7%
Tacoma, WA 5.2%
Tampa, FL 9.9%
Topeka, KS 4.5%
Tucson, AZ 10.5%
Tulsa, OK 22.0%
Washington, DC 9.1%


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