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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News



Contact: Virginia Miller
(202) 496-4816

 Public Transportation Ridership Continues To Climb In 2006


Nearly 5 billion trips taken on public transit in the first six months -- a 3.2% increase

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) today announced that public transportation ridership has increased by 3.2% in the first six months of 2006, as Americans took nearly 5 billion trips on public transit.

"In the first six months of this year, more and more people rode public transportation and transit ridership grew by 3.2%," said APTA President William W. Millar. "This continued growth in transit ridership shows how important public transportation is to millions of Americans across the country."

In the first six months of 2006, light rail (modern light rail, streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) had the highest percentage of ridership growth among all modes of transportation, with a 9.4% increase. Some of the areas reporting the highest increases in light rail ridership opened new services over the past year. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority of San Jose, CA showed the largest increase at 33%. The light rail systems in the following areas showed double digit increases from January through June 2006: Minneapolis, MN (23.4%); the state of New Jersey (15.1%); Boston, MA (13.4%); Buffalo, NY (12.2%); Los Angeles, CA (11.9%); Philadelphia, PA (11.9%); and San Diego, CA (11.9%).

Commuter rail grew by 3.4% and three areas showed ridership increases in double digits during this six month period: Chesterton, IN (13%); Dallas, TX (12%); and, Harrisburg, PA (11.6%).

Heavy rail (subways) ridership grew nationally by 2.6% during the first six months of 2006. Two areas showed double digit increases in ridership: Los Angeles, CA (15.9%) and New York Area - PATH (10.3%).

Bus ridership in small, medium, and large communities also showed increases. Nationally, bus ridership increased by 3.2%. The largest bus agencies showing double digit increases for the first six months of 2006 were located in the following cities: Detroit, MI (14.2%); San Antonio, TX (13.2%); Dallas, TX (12.7%); and Seattle, WA (11.4%).

Demand response (paratransit) ridership increased by 3.8%. Trolleybus ridership increased by 0.5% and all other types of public transportation increased by 0.6% from January through June 2006.

To see the complete report, go to

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