The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced today that Americans took 2.6 billion trips on public transportation in the first three months of 2008. This is almost 85 million more trips than last year for the same time period.I suppose it goes without saying that there was no increase in light rail ridership in the KC metro area. My hope is that our elected officials are serious enough to make sure there can be in the future.
“There’s no doubt that the high gas prices are motivating people to change their travel behavior,” said APTA president William W. Millar. “More and more people have decided that taking public transportation is the quickest way to beat the high gas prices.”
Last year 10.3 billion trips were taken on U.S. public transportation – the highest number of trips taken in fifty years. In the first quarter of 2008, public transportation continued to climb and rose by 3.3 percent. In contrast, the Federal Highway Administration has reported that the vehicle miles traveled on our nation’s roads declined by 2.3 percent in the first quarter.
Light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) had the highest percentage of ridership increase among all modes, with a double digit 10.3 percent increase for the first quarter. Light rail systems showed double digit increases in the following areas: Baltimore (16.8%); Minneapolis (16.4%); St. Louis (15.6%); and San Francisco (12.2%). New Orleans’ light rail system is recovering from Hurricane Katrina with a 476% increase in ridership.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Not In These Parts
People are changing their traveling behavior.