Public Transit Ridership Surges as Gas Prices Decline — Highest Quarterly Transit Ridership Increase in 25 years
December 8, 2008
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced today that Americans continue to ride public transportation at record levels even though gas prices declined. More than 2.8 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the third quarter of 2008 — an increase of 6.5 percent over the third quarter of 2007. This is the largest quarterly increase in public transportation ridership in 25 years. Meanwhile, vehicle miles of travel (VMT) on the nation’s highways declined in the same period by 4.6 percent according to the Federal Highway Administration.
…Last year 10.3 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation – the highest number of trips taken in fifty years. In the first quarter of 2008, public transportation continued to climb and rose by 3.4 percent. In the second quarter of 2008, as gas prices rose to more than $4 for a gallon of gasoline, public transit ridership increased by 5.2 percent. The third quarter transit ridership increase of 6.5 percent continued the trend of more and more Americans turning to public transportation in record numbers.
COTA recorded 12.3 million trips in the 3rd quarter of 2008, compared to 11.2 million trips in the same quarter of 2007, for a gain of almost 10%. However, Cleveland and Cincinnati were two of very few cities to decline. You can see details for all transit agencies here.
Cleveland, Cincy transit ridership down
December 09, 2008 12:30 EST
CLEVELAND (AP) — Commuters in at least two Ohio cities have been slow to get on board a national trend making mass transit more popular.
The American Public Transportation Association said Monday that most U.S. cities reported ridership increases for buses and trains during the first nine months of this year. But not Cincinnati or Cleveland.
The Cincinnati area’s transit agency saw ridership drop 4.3 percent compared to January-September 2007, while the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority reports a decline of about about one-third of 1 percent.
The Cleveland agency blames its weakness on the city’s struggling economy.
The report shows year-to-date transit ridership was up 9.9 percent in Columbus, 7.5 percent in Canton and 18.9 percent in Zanesville.