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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

October 2009

Rail News: Passenger Rail

Passenger Rail at-a-Glance: Transit Trends



Unlinked passenger trips refer to the number of times passengers board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board vehicles, no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to destination.

2008 Unlinked Passenger Trips by Mode (Millions)

Commuter Rail Heavy Rail Light Rail
477 3,571 465



Revenue Vehicles by Mode, 2007

  Commuter Rail Heavy Rail Light Rail
Vehicles Available for Maximum Service 6,391 11,222 1,810
Vehicles Used in Maximum Period Service 5,500 9,035 1,378
New Vehicles Delivered 118 394 91


In 2007, the transit industry employed 370,784 operating employees and 11,889 capital employees. Transit operating employees include workers in the function of vehicle operations, vehicle maintenance, non-vehicle maintenance and general administration. Transit agency capital employees are workers on transit agency staffs performing capitalized activities and do not include employees of vehicle manufacturers, engineering firms, building contractors or other companies with capital investment contract from transit agencies. Direct transit employees were paid a total of $13.2 billion and received benefits worth $9.1 billion, for a total compensation of $22.3 billion.


Employees by Mode and Function, 2007

Vehicle Operations Vehicle Maintenance Non-Vehicle Maintenance General Administration Operating Total Capital Total
Commuter Rail 9,546 7,558 6,183 2,985 26,272 2,711 28,983
Heavy Rail 20,489 9,517 14,792 4,571 49,369 5,795 55,164
Light Rail 4,192 2,093 2,006 959 9,250 680 9,930


Rail Expenses by Mode

Source: APTA's 2009 Public Transportation Fact Book

Rail Mode Totals Charts



Rail Route Mileage and Status of Future Projects

Public transportation agencies continue to plan for expanded service. The table at right provides a summary of open, under construction and planned future services based on a recently completed APTA Infrastructure Survey. Several hundred miles of commuter rail and light rail are under construction, while agencies are planning to add hundreds of miles of lines in the future.

Mode/Status Miles
Commuter Rail
Open 4,775.2
Construction and Design 215.8
Future 1,636.8
Total 6,627.8
Heavy Rail
Open 1,291.9
Construction and Design 5.5
Future 174.8
Total 1,472.2
Light Rail
Open 811.2
Construction and Design 144.1
Future 561.7
Total 1,517.0

As of September 1, 2008


Browse articles on unlinked passenger trips American Public Transportation Association APTA Infrastructure Survey

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