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APTA defends its ridership report


In response to recent criticism, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is standing by its report on public transportation use in the United States, according to a statement posted on the association's website.

In a statement titled, "Public transportation use is growing: Here are the facts," association officials defend APTA's interpretation of public transit ridership trends, which is based on ridership data that goes back decades.

The statement was posted this week in response to recent criticism of APTA's 2013 ridership report, which it released on March 10. Last year, ridership rose to 10.7 billion trips, the highest in 57 years. The association also noted trends indicating that transit ridership has been on the rise across the nation.

"After the release of the 2013 U.S. public transit ridership numbers, some have said that public transit ridership in New York increased while ridership elsewhere declined. That statement is not true," APTA officials said in the website post. "While the growth in trips in New York outpaced the nation as a whole, many other systems across the country saw ridership gains last year and some reported all-time record ridership. Cities that have invested in high frequency public transportation and transit-oriented development policies are experiencing significant ridership growth.  This trend is evident since the end of the recession; fully 59.3 percent of ridership growth during the period occurred outside of New York City."

Although APTA did not identify the critics, The Washington Post published on March 20 an opinion column by three researchers who called into question the association's interpretation of ridership numbers.

To read more of APTA's response, click here.