Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« Audi says traffic light information system production ready; potential for 15% reduction in CO2 emissions | Main | Audi of America introduces 2015 A3 Sedan with gasoline engines; diesel and PHEV coming »

Print this post

APTA reports record public transportation usage in US in 2013; growth outpacing population and VMT growth

10 March 2014

Image
Growth in public transit ridership since 1995 has outpaced population and VMT growth. Data: APTA. Click to enlarge.

In 2013, Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation—the highest annual public transit ridership number in 57 years—according to a report released by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). This was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide. While vehicle miles traveled on roads (VMT) went up 0.3%, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1%.

Since 1995 public transit ridership is up 37.2%, outpacing population growth, which is up 20.3%, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which is up 22.7%.

Some of the public transit agencies reporting record ridership system-wide or on specific lines were located in the following cities: Ann Arbor, MI; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Espanola, NM; Flagstaff, AZ; Fort Myers, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Pompano Beach, FL; Riverside, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Carlos, CA; Tampa, FL; Yuma, AZ; and New York, NY.

There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities. People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth. Access to public transportation matters. Community leaders know that public transportation investment drives community growth and economic revitalization. Another reason behind the ridership increases is the economic recovery in certain areas. When more people are employed, public transportation ridership increases since nearly 60% of the trips taken on public transportation are for work commutes.

—APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy

Heavy rail (subways and elevated trains) ridership increased by 2.8% across the country as 8 out of 15 transit systems reported increases. Heavy rail in Miami, FL, saw an increase of 10.6% that was mostly due to increased frequency during peak service. Other heavy rail systems with increases in ridership for 2013 were in the following cities: Los Angeles, CA (4.8%); New York, NY (4.2%); and Cleveland, OH (2.9%).

Nationally, commuter rail ridership increased by 2.1% in 2013 as 20 out of 28 transit systems reported increases. With a new rail line that opened in December 2012, commuter rail in Salt Lake City, UT, saw an increase of 103.3%. The following five commuter rail systems saw double digit increases in 2013: Austin, TX (37.3%); Harrisburg-Philadelphia, PA (33.9%); Anchorage, AK (30.0%); Lewisville, TX (23.0%); Stockton, CA (19.9%); Minneapolis, MN (12.5%); and Portland, OR (10.3%).

Light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) ridership increased 1.6% in 2013 with 17 out of 27 transit systems reporting increases. Systems that showed double digit increases in 2013 were located in the following cities: New Orleans, LA (28.9%); Denver, CO (14.9%); and San Diego, CA (10.4%). Ridership in the following cities also saw increases in 2013: Seattle, WA – Sound Transit (9.8%); Pittsburgh, PA (7.5%); Salt Lake City, UT (6.8%); Los Angeles, CA (6.0%); San Jose, CA (3.6%); and Philadelphia, PA (3.5%).

Bus ridership increased by 3.8% in cities with a population of below 100,000. Nationally, bus ridership in communities of all sizes remained stable, declining by 0.1%. Large bus systems with increases were located in the following areas: Washington, DC (3.5%); Houston, TX (3.4%); Cincinnati, OH (3.4%); and Seattle, WA (3.1%).

Demand response (paratransit) ridership increased in 2013 by 0.5%.

March 10, 2014 in Behavior, Market Background, Urban mobility | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef01a3fcd1054d970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference APTA reports record public transportation usage in US in 2013; growth outpacing population and VMT growth:

Comments

As the 97% gets poorer and poorer, they will ride public transportation and shared vehicles more and more. Many will simply have to walk.

Eventually, only the 3% will afford to drive private vehicles.

This is one of the first step back to the 15th century.

And the rest of us get older and older.

It's sad, but I had the same thought process on this one that Harvey did.

It's all part of the plan. People are much easier to control when the state is in charge of their transportation.

Wages for working people have gone down in real value, while productivity has gone up. Vehicles are a big money sink that have no or little residual value. You can be smart and hard working, and you can still be poor, if you buy what is typically considered necessary consumption, like a car, and other things that are not really needed. Of course, the smart person, as our teachers here and elsewhwere will tell us, is the one that accepts his or her training and follows the good advice of the leaders. For our leaders and their media outlet brethren are certainly wise people who have the nations best interests in mind and in no way are they trying to make themselves rich or to enslave others.

Actually, on another note. I have used public transportation in a number of cities and find that it is lower stress than driving, lower cost, and I can spend time reading, which is rather enjoyable. Now, that said, there are a number of locations where public transportation is available but local police and their customer criminals make the system relatively dangerous, and so normal people don't use it unless they are desperate. Boston, DC, San Fran, are good systems, parts of NYC and most of Chicago are bad systems because of the crime. So, what I am saying is that these public systems would all be great except for the punk criminals and the inept cops that screw up certain ones.

How many fold better/cheaper would US public transportation be if big oil/rubber/GM hadn't wrecked the existing/expanding electric trolley/mass transit system to sell their buses.

Cross region/country public travel remains a national disgrace of overcharged TSA rousts, hopelessly off-schedule Amtrak, or 'every 20 mile bus stop' diesel bus pollution or >$0.50/mile private cars.

The guilty corporations should have been 'fined' more than a dollar.

Billions of dollars from decades of ill-gotten profits would begin to reimburse the American public.

For every $1T hidden in 'safe heavens', one more million Americans will have to use public transports. As more and more wealth is hidden out of the country, the 97% gets poorer and cannot afford to buy and operate private vehicles.

The above trend is getting worse. The average American worker is making less money today then in 2000, in steady 2000 dollars but buying and using a private vehicle cost 50% more.

People normally get the level of public transport security they deserve. With over 400,000,000 weapons sold in USA, many will be used against innocent and not so innocent travellers.

HarveyD stated the transportation context.

Urban mass transport may be most of what's needed. 'One moving part' electric vehicles may be the least costly means for the future "route 66" mind set.

"The rich get richer", but along the way science has given the masses refrigeration, travel, health, entertainment, comfort, .. beyond what Alexander the Great or Napoleon had.

However, there needs to be an even spectrum of consumers and products.

When it becomes 'the one percent' verse 'the remainder' - French guillotines can be replaced with 'tag/fire' rifles/scopes, IEDs, homemade cell phone hacked drones, etc, ..

HarveyD stated the transportation context.

Urban mass transport may be most of what's needed. 'One moving part' electric vehicles may be the least costly means for the future "route 66" mind set.

"The rich get richer", but along the way science has given the masses refrigeration, travel, health, entertainment, comfort, .. beyond what Alexander the Great or Napoleon had.

However, there needs to be an even spectrum of consumers and products.

When it becomes 'the one percent' verse 'the remainder' - French guillotines can be replaced with 'tag/fire' rifles/scopes, IEDs, homemade cell phone hacked drones, etc, ..

Kelly...according to a very respected world organisation, 50% of the Planet's wealth is currently in tax free heavens and belong to less than 3% or the world's population and 80% of it belong to less than 1%.

The others will soon have to use public transportation or have to learn to walk again?

HareyD, I don't doubt those numbers.

What in nature allows one member of a species to have or waste thousands of times more than the next member - for the sake of either?

Those feeding on yachts and caviar would already naturally be extinct.

I hope the future is likely to be nowhere near as bleak as you are posting here. There are less onerous forms of transport available until walking becomes the only option left.

Many will discover the utility of electrically assisted bicycles. The ability of the bicycle to carry 100lbs of cargo with panier bags will be appreciated as it takes only a small amount of extra effort.

I also expect to see road infrastructure include dedicated bike lanes supplemented by plexiglass screens for reducing exposure to inclement weather and providing separation from the faster motorised traffic.

How many fold better/cheaper would US public transportation be if

Very little, because the criminal class has been allowed to make it too dangerous for the law-abiding public under "civil rights" legislation.  If you want the general public to ride PT, you need an effective way of banning bad actors from ever setting foot on it, or preying on people at stops.

Good point E-P.

We have a large 'Subway' police force to keep the bad actors at bay. The city buses and subways are now equipped with high definition cameras and drivers have access to a 'security manic' button to call for help when required.

Those two measures really helped to keep bad actors out of the public transport system.

Of course, we do not have the same percentage of riders equipped with deadly arms as you have in USA.

The "deadly arms" most frequently used against drivers and riders in the USA are fists.  If the criminal class had to risk being shot by law-abiding citizens when carrying out their predations, PT would be far less hazardous.  Citizens with concealed-carry licenses are particularly law-abiding, and also are greatly feared by criminals.  So far as PT in the USA is concerned, the more of these "riders equipped with deadly arms", the better.

It's funny how the regular commenters on a green car blog are appalled that public transit is increasing in popularity.

Let's revisit some long-term trends before we blame the Illuminati. People are marrying later, moving to the suburbs later and having children later (not necessarily in that order, of course). Car-obsessed baby boomers are retiring and dying. Some of the hottest real estate is in cities, and many families stay close to downtown and public transit at an age when their parents moved to suburbia. Witness Brooklyn for instance, or even Montreal's Plateau where flats that were worth mid-5 figures in the 1990s are now pushing 7 figures.

Are the rich getting richer? Compare Versailles or the Medici palace to the much-televised homes of recently deposed dictators. Total dominion over a decent fraction of the world's population buys you a slightly bigger version of a McMansion. Even the ultra-rich's hoarded art treasures are second-rate. On topic: their humongous SUVs are not noticeably bigger or more richly appointed than regular folk's SUVs.

I beg to differ with E-P. Arming every rider with deadly weapons will not reduce crimes on USA's public transits but bring it back to cowboy days.

Isn't the good old cowboy days mentality, ongoing growing social disparities and street gangs three of the main reasons for all those crimes?

One thing is almost certain, as social disparities grow, more people will have to use public transits and more crimes will be committed.

It is very difficult to separate bad passengers from good ones or one gang from another.

Harvey, since you are a Canadian I can safely assume that your experience with handguns is negligible, and your experience with ordinary citizens carrying concealed handguns in public is zero.

I live in a "shall-issue" state.  My experience is that weapons-permit holders almost never shoot people without provocation, and that is backed up by criminal statistics in every state in the union.  The gun violence is almost all caused by a relatively small class of people whose criminal records bar them from receiving permits in the first place.  Those same people are violent with whatever they have available, including their fists.

Members of gangs carry guns and shoot each other no matter what the law says.  They shoot up buses from the outside as well as the inside.  Disarming the law-abiding just makes them easier prey.

E-P has not convinced me that arming the general population with fatal weapons (like in the good old cowboy days) will make everybody safer.

On the contrary, more and more guns will promote more and more gun shots and killings. USA is the perfect example of that with about 10X our fatalities.

For the first time, gun fatalities (33,000) will be higher than road fatalities (32,000) in USA in 2015.

USA has one of the highest gun fatalities (per 100,000 people) in the industrialized world.

USA = 10.3
Canada = 2.38
Singapore = 0.16
S. Korea = 0.06
Hong Kong = 0.03

The average is between 1.0 and 2.0

Road fatalities (in USA) have been going down for many years and may go down much further as more people are forced to use public transportation. For the last few years, the number of miles travelled in private cars is going down and the number of miles travelled in public transportation has been going up.

It is mainly a question of affordability. As the average American is getting poorer (with less buying power than 10 years ago) he/she will leave the private car home (if he/she can afford one) and use lower cost public transportation.

More guns and more public transport users may mean more gun fatalities in USA, unless appropriate measures are taken, like less guns, more cameras (to identify bad travellers and restrict them?) and more police?

more and more guns will promote more and more gun shots and killings.

Your fear is based on Hollywood tropes, and a few "Old West" towns where (ironically) law enforcement imposed gun control... or tried to.  It didn't work any better then than it does on Chicago's south side today.

Reality doesn't follow your narrative.  When concealed carry was liberalized in Florida way back in 1987, the claims were that blood would flow in the streets:

critics warned that the "Sunshine State" would become the "Gunshine State." Contrary to their predictions, homicide rates dropped faster than the national average. Further, through 1997, only one permit holder out of the over 350,000 permits issued, was convicted of homicide.

37 years later, the critics have been proved wrong.
USA is the perfect example of that with about 10X our fatalities.

The USA's violent crime is primarly among two racial minorities which comprise a much smaller fraction of the population of Canada.  If you're willing to provide Section 8 housing for the former residents of Chicago and Detroit housing projects, you can have the violent crime that comes with them.

For the first time, gun fatalities (33,000) will be higher than road fatalities (32,000) in USA in 2015.

That's because you can't put seat belts and air bags on ghetto gang-bangers, and their population continues to go up.

USA has one of the highest gun fatalities (per 100,000 people) in the industrialized world.

You appear to believe that people who die from stab wounds, strangulation and blunt-force trauma somehow aren't dead.  Also, your figures include suicides.  The TOTAL homicide rate in the USA is about 6/100k.  Contrast gun-prohibiting Jamaica, which hit 58/100k in 2005.  The rate among Whites in the USA is about 2/100k.

If you could keep the criminal element off public transit, everyone else would ride it.  However, "civil rights" means that anything "discriminatory" is prohibited, even if it means pushing the law-abiding out of public accomodations.

More guns and more public transport users may mean more gun fatalities in USA

A few more gun fatalities would be a good thing, if criminals died.  Crime on the New York subway system plummeted in the immediate aftermath of Bernhard Goetz' shootings of 4 muggers.  As I said, when criminals fear their targets, the law-abiding people are safe and life is good.  Life is not good today.

Sorry E-P, stats and facts are not with you on this one.

You can go further away (Nigeria, Syria, Somalia, Congo, many SA Countries etc) and look at what 'guns in every hands' can do. Sorry, more guns = more killings.

Non lethal pepper spray and electric discharge weapons are normally sufficient to stop unarmed bad guys.

"Civil rights" is code for black people, right?
So today's lesson is, black people are to blame for all of America's problems, because life was perfect under Jim Crow. Instead of putting them in the back of the bus, we shouldn't even let them ride the bus.
Except, Engineer-Poet, that your own math has a problem. If you accept that Canada's homicide rate would also go down using all your exceptions and provisos, it would still be substantially lower than the American white-only homicide rate. And Canada does have a black population, largely descended from escapees from America's slave systems and immigrants from the West Indies, meaning violent Jamaica. White Americans are still the most violent white people in the advanced world. And you and I are still more likely to be killed by someone we know than a criminal stranger.

And we know why permit holders aren't convicted of murder in Florida. They're white, and can shoot any black person they feel afraid of and claim that as a defense. Sounds like ol' Mr. Crow be comin' back.

Civil rights is code for not enforcing laws when certain identifiable groups violate them, because that's racist.  "Anti-gentrification" is another issue; apparently, repairing run-down housing, slashing crime and improving local schools is racist too.

Well said Richard.

The right to kill (between whites) was used extensively during the 'cowboys era' in USA.

Later on, it was used to kill 'non-whites" who dare to be seen with whites.

Currently, it is used to kill whoever you are afraid of or you do not like, including members of your own family. Honnor killing is even worst?

There are many other civilized, less fatal ways to express your disapproval or dislike.

The increased flow of immigrants with different and strange values and manners may be taxing the tolerance level of many.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2014 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group