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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Rail ridership increases in the third quarter, APTA says


U.S. public transportation ridership continued to decline in the third quarter, with numbers slipping 1.5 percent compared with the same quarter in 2001, according to recent statistics from American Public Transportation Association.

Although some transportation modes showed quarterly increases, decreases in commuter rail and bus ridership cancelled them out.

Commuter-rail ridership decreased 1.7 percent, compared with 1.3 percent in the second quarter. The largest declines were reported by Caltrain and Altamont Commuter Express, each down 19.4 percent.

But heavy- and light-rail ridership increased compared with third-quarter 2001. Heavy-rail ridership was up 0.6 percent, helped by gains from New York City Transit, Miami-Dade Transit Agency and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Light-rail ridership rose 2.8 percent, with 12 agencies reporting growth. Passenger roads that opened line extensions showed the most significant increases, APTA said.