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Rail ridership grew in second quarter, APTA says

U.S. public transportation ridership in second-quarter 2014 increased 1.1 percent to 2.7 billion trips compared with the same period last year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced yesterday.

Ridership rose for all three rail modes: Heavy-rail was up 3.2 percent; light-rail, 2.8 percent; and commuter-rail, 3.1 percent, APTA officials said in a press release.

Public transportation ridership outpaced urban vehicle miles traveled, which rose 0.97 percent for the quarter. Transit ridership has increased in five of the past eight quarters, said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy.

"Public transportation ridership continues to grow nationally, showing that federal investment in public transit is paying off. With greater travel options, peoples' lives improve and communities grow," Melaniphy said.

He attributed the increases to factors such as the high price of gasoline and local economies that continue to recover from the recession.

Cities with heavy-rail systems recording the highest increases in the quarter were: Boston, up 7 percent; Chicago, 5.5 percent; New York City's MTA New York City Transit, 3.9 percent; New York City's MTA Staten Island Railway, 2.9 percent; Cleveland, 2.8 percent; and San Francisco, 2 percent.

Cities with light-rail service that posted double-digit increases were: San Diego, 28.8 percent; Minneapolis, 16.5 percent; Seattle, 14.4 percent; and Houston, 13 percent.

Double-digit ridership increases on commuter-rail services were recorded in: Salt Lake City, 18.6 percent; Stockton, Calif., 17 percent; Lewisville, Texas, 15.5 percent; Dallas-Fort Worth, 13.4 percent; Portland, Ore., 12.2 percent; and San Carlos, Calif., 10 percent.

For the complete APTA ridership report, follow this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/30/2014