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12/9/2008



Rail News: Passenger Rail

APTA: Transit ridership gains continue in 3Q


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Gas prices might have dropped in the third quarter, but public transit ridership didn't. Transit agencies collectively posted 2.8 billion trips, a 6.5 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2007's count — the largest quarterly increase in 25 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

After reaching a record 10.3 billion trips in 2007, public transit ridership increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter and 5.2 percent in the second quarter.

During the third quarter, light-rail ridership increased 8.5 percent, with double-digit gains posted in Baltimore (19.6 percent); Minneapolis (18.3 percent); Sacramento, Calif. (16.5 percent); New Jersey (15.9 percent); Los Angeles (15.3 percent); Dallas (15.2 percent); Denver (15 percent); Buffalo, N.Y. (13.4 percent); and Memphis, Tenn. (13.3 percent).

Commuter-rail ridership rose 6.3 percent. Among the largest gains: Albuquerque, N.M. (35.8 percent); Pompano Beach, Fla. (32.9 percent); New Haven, Conn. (32.2 percent); Portland, Maine (29.6 percent); Oakland, Calif. (26.1 percent); Stockton, Calif. (22.5 percent); Seattle (22.4 percent); Philadelphia/Harrisburg, Pa. (21.7 percent); Dallas (18.8 percent); Los Angeles (17 percent); and San Carlos, Calif. (16.4 percent).

Meanwhile, heavy-rail ridership increased 5.2 percent. Major gains were reported in L.A. (14.1 percent); San Juan, Puerto Rico (13.5 percent); Lindenwold, N.J. (13.3 percent); Miami (12.2 percent); and Atlanta (11.3 percent)


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