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Rail News: Passenger Rail

U.S. transit ridership hits 10-billion mark in 2006, APTA says

U.S. public transportation trips totaled 10.1 billion in 2006 — the first time annual ridership reached the 10 billion mark in almost 50 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Ridership increased 2.9 percent compared with 2005.

Light-rail systems, which include streetcars and trolleys, recorded the highest increase among all modes at 5.6 percent. Agencies in the following cities and states posted double-digit ridership growth: San Jose, Calif., 36.6 percent; New Jersey, 20.1 percent; Minneapolis, 18.4 percent; St. Louis, 16.2 percent; Philadelphia, 10.8 percent; and Salt Lake City, 14.2 percent.

Heavy-rail ridership rose 4.1 percent, with the largest gains recorded at systems in Los Angeles (10.8 percent); New Jersey (10.1 percent); Staten Island, N.Y., (9.4 percent); Atlanta (6.3 percent); and Chicago (4.5 percent).

Finally, commuter-rail ridership increased 3.2 percent. Agencies posting the largest gains include those serving south Florida (21.3 percent); Harrisburg, Pa., (18.9 percent); South Bend, Ind., and Chicago (10.7 percent); Stockton and San Jose, Calif. (8.8 percent); and New Haven Conn. (8.3 percent).

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More News from 3/12/2007