Americans' Growing Ride of Choice: Public Transit
Ridership was up 2.3% from 2010
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 7:30 AM CDT
A man checks his cell phone on a subway platform in the Union Square station of the L line on September 27, 2011 in New York.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you think the subway has felt extra crowded lately, you likely aren't imagining things: Americans are hopping on public transportation more often, according to a new report out today, with the number of bus and train passengers last year reaching its second highest level since 1957. Nationwide, transit ridership was up 2.3% from 2010, to 10.4 billion trips, the American Public Transportation Association says. Vehicle miles of travel, meanwhile, dropped 1.2%.

The number of subway riders was up 3.3%; bus ridership was up as well, about 0.4%, the Washington Post notes. "People are really flocking to transit," says the president of the association, noting that in some large cities, ridership is "outpacing employment." He credits improved rail lines, buses, and trains; high gas prices are also likely contributing to the trend. Another transit-boosting factor? Apps. "The exponential growth of apps to track bus and rail arrival times is demystifying the ridership experience and attracting new customers to public transportation," he says.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Mar 12, 2012 2:16 PM CDT
For sixty years plus the Oil Industry, the Auto industry and the Concrete industry. All three of these industries have systematically destroyed the U.S. passenger rail system and the Bus system. By buying passenger rail systems in the 1940s and 1950s and dismantling them. This they did in rural America so the only transportation would be the Automobile . Well now it has comeback to haunt us. You want to beat the Oil Industry build a mass transit Rail system across this Nation. You will see Oil and Gas prices drop like lead weight.
Mar 12, 2012 9:00 AM CDT
Sooo ... high gas prices are part of a massive conspiracy to drive Americans onto public transit, possibly used for a fine justification to build those "bullet trains" that seem to be so very popular these days? Carefully examine to determine that the international oil cartels aren't deeply invested in the same companies that would THRIVE in an atmosphere where railbuilding was happening. Building a railroad is a dandy and labor-intensive endeavor employing LOTS of people ... until it's built. Then it only employs enough people to RUN it, and it pays them the very least it possibly can, ... and the trains run ... whether anyone rides them or not ... they run ... and they require maintanence ... whether anyone rides them or not. They cannot be moved, once there they are fixed. ... whether anyone rides them or not. Pretty good motivation for driving up oil prices, huh? ... driving people toward public transportation while being invested in companies sure to be building what will be started as a national rail system ... passenger rail ... justified by the "increased ridership" that can be shown ... to be due to the inflated oil prices? Are there business connections between "oil" and "transportation" companies? signed ... Your Resident Paranoid.
Mar 12, 2012 8:55 AM CDT
Ride of Choice: Stretch Hummer Limo Ride of Coercion: Public Transhit Ride of Century: Record Oil Profits