APTA: Ridership impacted by economy

Posted on September 29, 2009

Nationally, nearly 5.2 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the first six months of 2009, a slight decrease of 2.6 percent, according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Meanwhile, light rail, trolleybus and the demand response public transit modes saw increases in ridership.

By mode, the year-to-date ridership changes were as follows: light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) reported an increase in ridership for the first half of 2009. Overall, light rail increased by +.57 percent. Other modes showing an increase include trolleybus (+1.61 percent) and demand response (+2.25 percent). Modes that saw declines were heavy rail (-2.29 percent); commuter rail (-2.79 percent); bus (-3.34 percent); and other modes (-0.55).

"The severe downturn in the economy has finally caught up with public transportation ridership, yet it still defies expectations," said APTA President William Millar. "Ridership remains strong, and it withstood the downturn longer than many expected. Given that 59 percent of rides on public transportation are taken to commute to and from work, it is no surprise that job losses have affected ridership."

The report figures reflects the increase in unemployment numbers, according to the association, with job losses throughout the first half of 2009 reaching 9.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other factors contributing to the ridership decline are the service cuts and fare increases many public transit systems have been forced to make because of flat and reduced state and local budgets. Among those systems facing revenue declines, almost half of them (47 percent) reported both raising fares and cutting service to address funding shortfalls, according to a recent APTA report.

To view the full report, click here.




View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA issues guidance on how transit agencies can implement ADA

To enhance understanding of the Act, the new circular offers a user-friendly, one-stop resource on its requirements.

CTED workshop to focus on ADA requirements, small bus inspections

The course is instructed by Halsey King, a well renowned speaker and writer on maintenance and technology issues, that includes repair, inspection and management of vehicle fleets.

S.D. council softening stance against raising paratransit fares

The about-face came just six days after an internal audit of the city's public transportation system was released to the council. In it is a recommendation to raise paratransit rates to $2.50 a ride from the $2 fee riders have paid since 1996.

AC Transit, BART celebrates ADA's 25th anniversary, new paratransit office

Since the ADA’s signing in 1990, AC Transit and BART have worked to ensure disabled residents are able to enjoy the many benefits of public transportation. The two agencies joined together in 1994 to form the East Bay Paratransit Consortium.

Chicago Pace's draft budget includes paratransit shortfall

A paratransit fare increase may be proposed to fill the gap; however, Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross acknowledged it would be very difficult for those riders to absorb.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close