Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation in 2014, which is the highest annual public transit ridership number in 58 years, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
“In 2014, people took a record 10.8 billion trips on public transportation – the highest annual ridership number in 58 years. Some public transit systems experienced all-time record high ridership last year. This record ridership didn’t just happen in large cities. It also happened in small and medium size communities,” said Phillip Washington, APTA Chair.
Noting that public transit ridership increased even when gas prices declined by 42.9 cents in the fourth quarter, APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said that, “despite the steep decline in gas prices at the end of last year, public transit ridership increased. This shows that once people start riding public transit, they discover that there are additional benefits besides saving money. People are changing their travel behavior and want more travel options.”
Another reason behind the ridership increases is the economic recovery in certain areas. For example, Atlanta (GA), San Francisco (CA), Minneapolis (MN), Seattle (WA), and Champaign-Urbana (IL) were some cities that saw increased ridership in part because of an improved job market.