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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

All modes post third-quarter passenger gains, APTA says


High gas prices helped spur ridership in all transit modes during third-quarter 2005, according to a recent American Public Transportation Association (APTA) report. Overall, transit ridership increased 3.3 percent compared with third-quarter 2004.

Light-rail ridership increased 8.8 percent during the third quarter compared with the same 2004 period. Ridership increased significantly in several cities, including Minneapolis (up 70.9 percent), Tampa (22.1 percent), Los Angeles (15.9 percent), San Diego (15.1 percent) and Houston (14.8 percent).

In the commuter-rail realm, ridership rose 4.6 percent. Cities registering gains include Chesterton, Ind. (up 10.4 percent), Philadelphia (9.9 percent), Harrisburg, Pa. (8.9 percent), San Carlos, Calif. (7.9 percent) and Los Angeles (5.7 percent).

Finally, heavy-rail ridership increased 4.3 percent compared with third-quarter 2004. Cities posting increases include Cleveland (up 7.8 percent), Los Angeles (7.7 percent), Philadelphia (7.6 percent), Boston (7.3 percent), Washington, D.C. (6.3 percent) and Chicago (6.2 percent).

Although gas prices dipped in November, ridership didn’t well into the fourth quarter, according to a recent APTA survey. Eighty-eight percent of transit agencies reported ridership gains in November 2005 compared with November 2004.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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