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American Public Transportation Association

 Transit News



Virginia Miller

 Nearly 2.7 Billion Trips Taken on U.S. Public Transportation in Second Quarter


Nationally, nearly 2.7 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation in the second quarter of 2013, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).  Compared to the second quarter of 2012, this year’s second quarter increased by 1.2 percent, with nearly 31 million more trips taken from April through June.  In comparison, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on our nation’s roads was up by 0.5 percent.

Noting that in 8 of the last 10 quarters, ridership on U.S. public transportation has increased, APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said, “In big and small communities, demand for public transportation continues to grow. Public transit ridership has increased in 8 of the last 10 quarters. I anticipate that this trend of transit ridership growth throughout the United States will continue.” 

In the second quarter, some cities saw ridership increases due to economic recovery.  They include: Birmingham, AL; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Miami, FL; Denver, CO; Champaign-Urbana, IL; Chapel Hill, NC; Ithaca, NY; Houston, TX; Hampton Roads, VA; and Seattle, WA.

“As the local economy continues to recover, public transportation ridership continues to increase in those communities where jobs are increasing,” said Melaniphy. “Since nearly 60 percent of trips taken on public transportation are for work commutes, it makes sense that ridership goes up when employment goes up.”

To see the complete APTA 2013 second quarter ridership report, go to:

2013 Second Quarter Ridership Breakdown
Nationally, heavy rail ridership increased by 2.5 percent as 8 out of 15 heavy rail systems (subways and elevated trains) experienced ridership increases in the second quarter of 2013 over the same period in 2012.  The heavy rail systems with the highest increases in ridership for 2013 were in the following cities: Miami, FL (16.8%); San Francisco, CA (6.7%); New York, NY (3.8%); and Philadelphia, PA (3.7%)

Nineteen out of 28 commuter rail systems reported ridership increases as commuter rail ridership grew by 0.9 percent.  Commuter rail ridership saw a triple digit increase in Salt Lake City, UT (110.1%) due to a new commuter rail line opening in December 2012.  Five commuter rail systems saw double-digit increases in the second quarter in the following cities: Austin, TX (37.1%); Lewisville, TX (30.4%); Stockton, CA (22.0%); Anchorage, AK (18.3%); and Minneapolis, MN (15.6%).  Other commuter rail systems showing large increases were located in the following cities: San Carlos, CA (7.7%); Pompano Beach, FL (7.0%); Baltimore, MD (6.8%); and Seattle, WA – Sound Transit (6.1%). 

Nationally, bus ridership rose by 0.5 percent from April through June of 2013, with some of the highest bus ridership increases in large cities were reported in: Houston, TX (5.1%); Washington, DC (3.9%); Minneapolis, MN (3.8%); and Seattle, WA – King County Department of Transportation (2.8%).

Light rail ridership decreased by 0.5 percent in the second quarter, as 14 out of 28 light rail systems reported an increase in ridership from April through June 2013.  Light rail systems saw double digit increases in the second quarter in two cities: Hampton, VA (21.4%); and Denver, CO (12.2%).  Other light rail systems with significant increases were in the following cities: Seattle, WA – Sound Transit (8.5%); Los Angeles, CA (7.5%); San Jose, CA (6.3%); Philadelphia, PA (6.3%); Baltimore, MD (4.6%); Phoenix, AZ (3.3%); Dallas, TX (3.1%); and Pittsburgh, PA (2.9%). 

Demand response (paratransit) ridership decreased in 2013 by 0.5 percent and trolleybus ridership decreased by 0.9 percent.

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.

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