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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

More commuters choose public transit in 2006's first half, APTA says


Public transit ridership continued its uphill climb in 2006’s first half. U.S. agencies collectively reported almost 5 billion trips, a 3.2 percent increase compared with 2005’s first half, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Light rail posted the highest year-over-year ridership growth at 9.4 percent. Agencies reporting the largest gains, many of which launched new services during the past year, are: the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority at 33 percent; Minneapolis’ Metro Transit, 23.4 percent; New Jersey Transit, 15.1 percent; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, 13.4 percent; Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, 12.2 percent; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA MTA), 11.9 percent; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 11.9 percent; and San Diego Trolley, 11.9 percent.

Overall commuter-rail ridership rose 3.4 percent compared with first-half 2005. Agencies posting double-digit increases include the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District at 13 percent; Trinity Railway Express, 12 percent; and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Harrisburg commuter-rail service, 11.6 percent.

In the heavy-rail category, overall ridership rose 2.6 percent, with LA MTA and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson posting the largest gains at 15.9 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/22/2006