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Ridership on U.S. public transit agencies rose 2.2 percent in third-quarter 2019 compared with ridership during third-quarter 2018, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported yesterday.The growth in total ridership included a 5.46 percent surge on heavy rail systems and a 4.38 percent gain on commuter-rail systems, APTA officials said in a press release.Riders took 2.5 billion trips during the quarter, which is the second consecutive quarter to post an increase, and the first consecutive quarter to log an increase since the third and fourth quarters of 2014, they said. The growth in ridership amounted to 54 million more trips in Q3 2019 versus Q3 2018.Heavy rail systems that reported notable increases during the quarter included MTA New York City Transit, up 7.6 percent; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, up 7.23 percent.Light-rail systems that logged notable increases included the Charlotte Area Transit System, up 12.74 percent; Sacramento Regional Transit District, up 6.35 percent; and Metro Transit in Minneapolis, up 4.03 percent.Among commuter-rail systems that posted notable increases were the Regional Transportation District of Denver, which opened its Southeast Rail Line Extension in May and was up 35.11 percent; Florida's SunRail, up 18.26 percent; and MTA Long Island Rail Road in New York, up 12.41 percent."The landscape of American transportation is changing; the public transportation industry continues to implement technological innovations and improved access that benefits communities and is a critical part of the transportation network," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas.