Transit ridership down with road traffic
By Peter Samuel
Transit ridership in the US in the first three quarters was 7.71b this year compared to 8.01b, a drop of 3.8%, according to data from the American Public Transit Association. The decline is very similar to the decline in road traffic and gives the lie to a common reporters' storyline that the road traffic drop is part of some structural shift toward transit use and away from automobiles.
Wishful thinking on their part!
On the contrary transit appears to be the victim of the same bubble-burst recession that has hit jobs and incomes as road traffic.
Transit ridership may be somewhat lagged. The third quarter was specially bad for transit, being down 6.1% over the same quarter in 2008.
Bus ridership at 4.02b v 4.23b is down 5% three-quarters on previous corresponding period v heavy rail 2.60b v 2.68b, 4.1% down.