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APTA: U.S. transit ridership recovery continues

APTA’s Ridership Trends Dashboard tracks ridership data in real time, collected from 130 agencies across the country.
Photo – New York City Transit


The American Public Transportation Association yesterday reported the nation’s public transit systems this month collectively reached 70% of pre-pandemic ridership levels. 

APTA’s Ridership Trends Dashboard tracks ridership data in real time, collected from 130 U.S. transit agencies.

Heavy- and light-rail are both at 61% of 2019 ridership, while commuter rail is at 54%. Bus ridership is slightly higher at 66% of pre-pandemic levels.

As more people returned to the office during 2022, ridership has significantly increased, said APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas in a press release. More students are returning to school in person, and community events and destinations are becoming more popular, he added.

"Agencies from coast to coast are seeing a rise in ridership,” said Skoutelas. “Even though workers in many cities continue to work from home, at least on a part-time basis, we are seeing steady growth in ridership and are optimistic those trends will continue."

Some transit agencies saw immediate declines of up to 40% in ridership beginning in mid-March 2020. By April, ridership had settled to a national average of 20% of pre-pandemic levels, APTA officials said. Rail modes, both light and heavy, experienced more significant decreases than bus modes during the height of the pandemic, according to a September 2022 report from APTA.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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