PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BY MODE

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BY MODE

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U.S. Transit Ridership by Mode (monthly data, not seasonally adjusted)

U.S. Transit Ridership by Mode (monthly data, not seasonally adjusted). If you are a user with a disability and cannot view this image, please call 800-853-1351 or email answers@bts.gov for further assistance.

Ridership of heavy rail has been climbing faster than any other mode of public transportation. Bus ridership is almost 60 percent of total transit ridership.

Transit Ridership by Mode Jun-01 Jun-02
Bus (thousands) 458,361 449,640
Bus ridership percent change from same month previous year   -6.42   -1.90
Heavy rail (thousands) 235,447 223,809
Heavy rail ridership percent change from same month previous year    1.81   -4.94
Commuter rail (thousands)  35,036  33,440
Commuter rail ridership percent change from same month previous year   -0.57   -4.56
Light rail (thousands)  27,289  26,141
Light rail ridership percent change from same month previous year    2.85   -4.21
Trolleybus (thousands)   9,192   9,067
Trolleybus ridership percent change from same month previous year  -18.92   -1.36

NOTES: The current value is compared to the value from the same period in the previous year to account for seasonality.

Numbers are estimates.

According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), an unlinked transit trip is a trip on one transit vehicle. A person riding one vehicle from origin to destination takes one unlinked trip; a person who transfers to a second vehicle takes two unlinked trips; a person who transfers to a third vehicle takes three unlinked trips. A linked trip includes all segments on all vehicles used to travel from origin to destination. APTA estimates that the number of people riding transit on an average weekday is 45 percent of the number of unlinked transit passenger trips.

Commuter Rail - Railroad local and regional passenger train operations between a central city, its suburbs, and/or another central city. It may either be locomotive-hauled or self-propelled, and is characterized by multitrip tickets, specific station-to-station fares, railroad employment practices, and usually only one or two stations in the central business district. Also known as "suburban rail."
Light Rail - An electric railway with a "light volume" traffic capacity compared to "heavy rail." Light rail may include multicar trains or single cars. Also known as "Streetcar," "Trolley car," and "Tramway."
Heavy Rail - An electric railway with the capacity of "heavy volume" of traffic and characterized by exclusive rights-of-way, multicar trains, high speed and rapid acceleration, sophisticated signaling, and high platform loading.
Trolleybus - Rubber-tired passenger vehicles operating singly on city streets. Trolleybuses are propelled by electricity drawn from an overhead electric line via trolleys.

SOURCE: American Public Transportation Association, APTA Quarterly Transit Ridership Report, available at: http://www.apta.com/stats/.