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US transit rail ridership 64% higher, transit bus ridership 17% lower in 2018 than in 1990

Historically, transit bus ridership has been higher than transit rail ridership, but in recent years the two modes have had nearly the same ridership.

  • Transit rail ridership grew 64% from 1990 to 2018, although this growth was not continuous during the period.

  • Transit bus ridership saw an overall decline of 17% in that same time period.

  • Total transit ridership in 2018 was 9.9 billion passenger trips.

Annual Transit Ridership, 1990 - 2018


Sources: American Public Transportation Association, Ridership Report, Quarterly and Annual Totals by Mode, and Fourth Quarter 2018 Ridership, accessed May 22, 2019.



Imaging what rail travel could be with ultra high speed e-trains like in EU, Japan and China?


Buses are heavily subsidized and inconvenient.
Make smaller autonomous shuttles to increase ridership.

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