Survey: 8 out of 10 systems exceeding capacity

Posted on September 9, 2008

With ridership on public transportation surging and high fuel prices severely impacting public transportation systems’ budgets across the nation, 85 percent of public transit systems report capacity problems, according to a new nationwide survey of transit systems released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The survey, titled “Rising Fuel Costs: Impacts on Transit Ridership and Agency Operations,” reveals that of the public transit systems that report capacity problems, six out of ten (63 percent) are experiencing capacity problems during peak periods.

According to the survey, almost all agencies responding (91 percent) report they are facing limitations in their ability to add service to meet increased ridership demands.

The survey reveals the most common limitation is budgetary, with 65 percent reporting insufficient revenue to operate additional service.

More than half of all agencies reported declining or stable local and state financial assistance over the last year, due to the economic downturn. Additionally, survey results indicate that due to the high cost of fuel, more than 60 percent of the public transportation systems responding to the survey said they are considering fare increases and 35 percent are considering service cuts, some for the second time in less than a year.

APTA also reported today that public transit systems across the country experienced a 5.2 percent increase in ridership for the 2008 second quarter, representing nearly 140 million more trips than last year’s second quarter.

To see the 2008 second quarter ridership report go to: http://www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership

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