The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) revealed Monday that Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transit in 2013, an increase of 1.1% from the previous year. The total number of trips is the highest since 1956.
For the purposes of its study, APTA defined a “trip” as any time a person utilized public transit—even if it was just to get from one mode of transportation to another. The 10.7 billion trips exceeded the previous high established in 2008. Transit ridership spiked that year due to a correlating spike in national gas prices to $4-$5 a gallon.
Much of the growth in transit ridership has come within the last 20 years—totals have grown 37.2% since 1995. By comparison, the U.S. population has only grown 20.3% in the same span.
While the spike is notable, the total share of people using public transit versus other modes of transportation was just 5% in 2012.