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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transit agencies carry 2.5 billion passengers in first quarter, APTA says


High gas prices combined with expanded service at many transit agencies bode well for first-quarter ridership. Public transportation ridership rose 4.25 percent compared with first-quarter 2005, according to data released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Transit agencies recorded about 2.5 billion passenger trips and all public transportation modes recorded increases.

In the passenger-rail realm, light-rail ridership rose 11.2 percent compared with first-quarter 2005. Agencies posting double-digit increases included Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (27.3 percent); Minneapolis’ Metro Transit (26 percent); Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (18 percent); San Diego Trolley (17.3 percent); Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (16.7 percent); Sacramento Regional Transit District (14.9 percent); Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA MTA) (13.4 percent); and New Jersey Transit (12.7 percent).

Commuter-rail ridership rose, too, increasing 3.4 percent compared with first-quarter 2005. Agencies posting the biggest increases included the North County Transit District (13.2 percent), Trinity Railway Express (10.9 percent) and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (10.1 percent).

Meanwhile, heavy-rail ridership rose 3.2 percent, with the largest increases posted at LA MTA (16.4 percent), MTA Staten Island Railway (13.7 percent), Chicago Transit Authority (6.6 percent) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (6.1 percent).

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/19/2006