Ridership on public transit rose by 3.2% in the first half of 2006, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced recently. In all, during that period Americans took nearly 5 billion trips on public transportation, defined as subways, buses and commuter and light rail.
"This continued growth in transit ridership shows how important public transportation is to millions of Americans across the country," said APTA President William Millar.
Light rail enjoyed the largest percentage growth in ridership over the period, increasing by 9.4%, the APTA said. Areas reporting the highest increases in such ridership opened new services over the past year, and include San Jose, up 33%; Minneapolis, up 23.4%; New Jersey statewide, up 15.1%; Boston, up 13.4%; Buffalo, up 12.2%; Los Angeles, up 11.9%; Philadelphia, up 11.9%; and San Diego, up 11.9%.
Commuter rail grew by 3.4%, with three areas--Dallas, Chesterton, Ind., and Harrisburg, Pa.,--showing double-digit ridership increases during the period.
Subway ridership grew nationally by 2.6% during the first six months of 2006, with ridership up by 15.9% in Los Angeles and up by 10.3% on the New York-New Jersey PATH train system.
Bus ridership nationally increased by 3.2%, with double-digit increases in Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas and Seattle.
The APTA's complete report is available at http://www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership/.