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It’s looking pretty likely that the transit industry in 2008 will beat the record 10.3 billion trips taken on U.S. public transit systems in 2007. The latest sign? During third-quarter 2008, agencies collectively posted 2.8 billion trips, a 6.5 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2007’s count and the largest quarterly increase in 25 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association.
Public transit ridership previously 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 increases: 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).