Public transit ridership in Canada demonstrated strong growth during the 2002 calendar year, according to data released today by the Canadian Urban Transit Association.
A total of 1.53 billion transit trips were taken across Canada last year, representing a 4% increase over 2001 and a 3% increase over 2000.
"This marks a significant milestone representing the first time in over 12 years that ridership has surpassed the 1.5-billion mark," says Michael Roschlau, CUTA president and CEO.
Ridership experienced a dip in 2001, due to major strikes at several major western Canadian transit systems, and the new figures demonstrate that the industry is forging ahead with continued growth that has been evident since the mid 1990s.
Canada's two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, both set ten-year transit ridership records for the second consecutive year, with Ontario reaching about 680 million trips, and Quebec approximately 483 million trips last year.
CUTA's preliminary data also indicate that average per-capita ridership across Canada is recovering from the strikes in 2001, with an increase from 76.1 rides per capita in 2001, to a figure of 78.2 last year.