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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Public transit systems log 2.6 billion rides in first quarter, APTA says

During the first quarter, U.S. public transit systems registered 2.6 billion trips, nearly 85 million more than in first-quarter 2007, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Ridership on light-rail systems, which APTA defines as modern streetcars, trolleys and heritage trolleys, rose 10.3 percent vs. the same 2007 period. The largest gains were posted on systems in Baltimore (16.8 percent), Minneapolis (16.4 percent), St. Louis (15.6 percent) and San Francisco (12.2 percent).

Commuter-rail ridership rose 5.7 percent year over year, with double-digit increases posted in Seattle (27.9 percent), Harrisburg, Pa. (17 percent), Oakland, Calif. (15.8 percent), Stockton, Calif. (13.9 percent), Pompano Beach, Fla. (12.9 percent) and Philadelphia (10.4 percent).

Meanwhile, ridership on heavy-rail, or subway and elevated systems, rose 4.4 percent. The largest increases were posted in Staten Island, N.Y. (12.3 percent), Boston (8.8 percent), Jersey City, N.J. (6.5 percent), Los Angeles (5.4 percent), New York City (5 percent), Baltimore (4.9  percent) and San Francisco (4.5 percent).

Last year, public transit agencies recorded 10.3 billion trips, the highest ridership figure in 50 years.  

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/2/2008