We quickly return to quoting other people’s work but it’s for good reason – public transit use in the U.S. is at its highest levels since 1956! Everybody’s talking about it: The New York Times, Marketplace, Fox News, The Salt Lake Tribune, and even Channel 4 News KMOV St. Louis! Of course, they’re all referencing the findings of the American Public Transportation Association released just today. We’ll go over some of the highlights before releasing you to analyze the 31 pages of raw data (if you haven’t done so already).
- First, “Americans took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation” in 2013. Maybe we shave off a billion of those trips as having been done by foreign tourists – still pretty good. Also, though “vehicle miles traveled on roads went up 0.3 percent, public transportation use in 2013 increased by 1.1 percent.”
- And it’s not all because people can’t afford gas, as may have contributed to high ridership in 2008 when prices rose over $4 a gallon. “Now gas is averaging well under $4 a gallon, the economy is coming back, and people are riding transit in record numbers.” We’re just focusing on those record numbers
- In New York City, all MTA modes of transit saw a 3.6 percent increase in ridership from the year before. The system being used increasingly more during off-peak hours is seen as a strong driver, according the the NY Times, in the overall increase in system usage.
We can’t steal all of the good news from this story and put it in our pages but we do feel this is a personal victory for the four-years-old, three-weeks-active, ratpag. Our goal for this year is to break 11 billion trips – only one extra trip for each American this entire year. I think we can do that.