APTA: Public ridership up for three straight quarters
According to a new report by the American Public Transportation Association, for the first time three years public transportation ridership increased for three consecutive quarters.
Nationally, 2.6 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the third quarter of 2011. This is a 2 percent increase over the same quarter last year, representing an increase of nearly 52 million trips. Ridership in all public transportation modes increased, led by light rail which increased by 5.8 percent.
“This increase in ridership shows that Americans want more transportation choices and will use public transportation if it is available in their community,” said APTA President and CEO Michael P. Melaniphy. “Also, transit agency investments are paying off, resulting in riders experiencing a higher level of quality service.”
Noting the important link between public transportation and the economy, Melaniphy said: “Nearly 60 percent of public transportation trips are taken for work commutes. In addition, whenever gas prices are high, people decide to save money by taking public transportation instead of driving.”