Posts Tagged ‘public transit ridership’

Public Transit Ridership Continues Rebound

September 30, 2022

Ridership of public transit has rebounded to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the American Public Transportation Association said this week.

APTA said heavy- and light-rail are both at 61 percent of 2019 ridership, while commuter rail is at 54 percent. Bus ridership is 66 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The figures reflect data reported by 130 transit agencies.

The trade group attributed the increase in ridership to higher levels of workers returning to the office rather than working from home as became widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic took root in March 2020, some transit agencies suffered immediate declines of up to 40 percent. By April 2020 transit ridership has fallen to a national average of 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Rail transit sustained higher ridership levels than bus transit, APTA officials said.

APTA Providing Transit Ridership Estimates

December 9, 2020

The American Public Transportation Association has teamed with the Transit trip-planning app to create a dashboard that provides weekly estimates of public transit ridership.

Use of public transportation has fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic in part in response to public health alerts.

APTA said fluctuations in ridership make it difficult for transit agencies that rely on monthly or quarterly reporting to follow up-to-date ridership trends and benchmark against their peers.

The estimates provided by APTA and the Transit app provide real time estimates of transit ridership.

Estimated ridership values for each week are statistically modeled based on measures of Transit app use and do not represent actual reported ridership counts from agencies.

The Transit app counts the frequency of how often its app is opened, providing a measure of demand for public transit. 

Also factored into the estimates are regional trends and the pandemic’s current severity.

Public Transit Rebounding But Slowly

October 19, 2020

Statistics being kept by Railway Age magazine show that public transit ridership in North America has begun a slow increase after suffering massive declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The magazine noted that some public transit systems saw ridership fall to as low as 5 percent of what it had been and revenue from fares was a mere trickle.

But now it has returned in many of those places to 20 to 25 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority told the magazine that its ridership during the pandemic was down by half.

A task team sponsored by the magazine recently reported that the rise in ridership has been slow and it is uncertain how far it will go toward reaching previous ridership levels.

Hindering the return of ridership has been not just that many workplaces shifted their employees to working at home but also the loss of ridership associated with entertainment and sports venues being closed due to the pandemic.

The lack of tourism has driven down ridership in such cities as New York and New Orleans.

Some transit systems are being kept afloat by emergency financial relief from the

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which authorized $24.9 billion for public transit.

Some systems have said that funding will keep them going into 2021, but transit agencies are still facing enormous deficits caused by lack of ridership and their corresponding fares.

At the same time, agencies face higher costs in cleaning their train cars and buses to maintain a safe environment.

The Railway Age study found that in some cities bus ridership is returning faster than rail ridership.

It attributed this to the that many low wage workers who hold jobs in “essential” workplaces depend on public transit to get to work.

Many of them ride a bus rather than a train or streetcar. Few higher-income commuters are riding trains because they are working remotely on at least some workdays.

The task force doesn’t expect discretionary rail travel to begin picking up until the middle of next year at the earliest.

Transit Ridership Up 2.2% in 3rd Quarter

December 13, 2019

During the third quarter of 2019 ridership of U.S. public transit agencies was up 2.2 percent when compared with the same period of 2019.

The American Public Transportation Association said there was a 5.46 percent increase in ridership of heavy rail systems and a 4.38 percent gain on commuter-rail systems.

Riders took 2.5 billion trips during the quarter, which was the second consecutive quarter to post an increase.

APTA said the growth in ridership amounted to 54 million more trips in the third quarter of 2019 versus the third quarter of 2018.