Record 10.7 Billion Trips Taken On U.S. Public Transportation In 2013.
Much good news here, but I think APTA buries the lede. “Most since 1957” sounds good until you adjust for population growth – many more rides per capita than now. And no, I was not riding transit that year.
To me, the bigger deal is that since 1995 transit ridership is up 37.2% while population is only up 20.3%. That means the number of trips per capita is rising and that’s a good thing. Transit is even outpacing VMT which grew at 22.7% over the same period.
One thing thing that bugs me is the emphasis on mode. Except for the fact that commuter trains generally serve suburbs and heavy rail usually serves large cities, mode doesn’t tell you a lot.
(Also remember that these are “unlinked trips” – if a passenger’s journey to work requires her to take a bus to the subway, that’s two trips.)