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12/4/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

APTA: Transit ridership totals 2.5 billion in third quarter



Public-transit ridership continued to climb in third-quarter 2007, as riders generated more than 2.5 billion trips during the July-to-September period — 50 million more trips than third-quarter 2006, according to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) data.

Light rail, which APTA characterizes as modern light rail, streetcars, trolleys and heritage trolleys, had the highest ridership growth percentage of all transit modes at 8.9 percent. New Orleans’ Regional Transit Authority posted the largest gain — 115.7 percent — after restoring service that had been cancelled after Hurricane Katrina damaged the authority’s lines and equipment. Ridership also grew significantly in Denver (65.1 percent), St. Louis, Mo. (25.8 percent), Kenosha, Wis. (23.3 percent), New Jersey (14.1 percent), Tampa, Fla. (13.1 percent) and San Diego (12.5 percent).

Commuter rail ridership grew 5.4 percent compared with third-quarter 2006. The largest increases were posted by agencies in Harrisburg, Pa. (50.2 percent), Oakland, Calif. (16.2 percent), Oceanside, Calif. (12.8 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth (12.3 percent), and Stockton, Calif. (12.4 percent).

Finally, heavy-rail (subway) ridership grew 4 percent during the third quarter. The areas showing the largest increases were San Juan, Puerto Rico (10.6 percent), Atlanta (10.4 percent), and Staten Island, N.Y. (10.2 percent).


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