More than 9.7 billion people took trips on U.S. transportation systems in 2005, with public transportation growing at a faster rate than highway travel (1.3% vs. 0.1%), according to a new American Public Transportation Association report.
Since 1995, public transportation use increased 25.1% -- faster than the rate of highway vehicle miles traveled (22.5%).
Light rail had the highest percentage of increase among all the modes, with a 6% increase in 2005.
Some light rail systems showed double-digit ridership increases including, Minneapolis (168.9%), Houston (38%) and New Jersey (17.8%).
Ridership on commuter rail posted the second-largest increase at 2.8%. Commuter rail systems with the highest ridership increases included San Carlos, Calif. (12.5%), Chesterton, Ind. (7.3%) and Philadelphia (5.4%).
Other modes saw modest increases in ridership. Heavy rail ridership increased by 2.3%, despite work stoppages in Philadelphia and New York City.
Demand-response (paratransit) ridership increased by 2.5% and transit bus ridership increased 0.4% in 2005.
There were major increases, however, by some large bus agencies in the following cities: Minneapolis (14.5%); Dallas (7.5%); the Pace system in suburban Chicago (7.4%) and San Antonio, Texas (5.8%).
Trolleybus ridership decreased by 1.9%.
To see the complete report, go to www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership