Rapid Growth of Passengers Using Public Transportation

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
March 15, 2012 /

A report from an industrial group in Washington stated on Monday that during 2011 Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation, which is the second highest figure recorded since 1957! This is attributed to an improving economy and the rising gas prices.

The number of passengers had increased by 2.3% when compared to 2010, with the segments of travelers, spread across large, medium and small communities. According to a statement from the American Public Transportation Association, gas prices reached $4 a gallon in 2008 and it was only in that year that the passenger figure of 2011 was exceeded

Reports show that the most rapid growth rate, of 5.4%, was recorded in the rural communities, with populations below 100,000 residents. The two primary reasons for the significant increase in passengers are reportedly higher gas prices. This has been added to by a recovering economy that has influenced people in certain areas to return to work.

An increase of 4.9% for 2011 was reported in travelers using the light rail form of transport. However, highly significant increases were recorded inSeattlewith an added 37.2% andDallaswith 31.2%. This report by American Public Transportation Association has been submitted as it is holding a legislative conference inWashington, with lawmakers and regulators.

The passenger increases for subways and elevated trains was 3.3 %, with commuter rail showing an additional usage of 2.5%. On a national basis, the large bus operating systems reportedly had an increase of 0.4%.  This is again indicative of the concern relating to rising gas prices.

The Senate is scheduled to cast their vote on a two years authorization bill on Tuesday for $109 billion. An important consideration is that Federal funding for transportation projects, including mass transit, is due to expire at the end of March.


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