Over one-third of the U.S. population lives outside urbanized areas. The Federal Transit Administration provides funding for rural transit through its Section 5311 program, part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Within this program, there are approximately 1,215 transit providers serving 91 million people in 773 cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 (15 percent of the rural population).
While the number of providers remained relatively constant between 1994 and 2000, the fleet sizes grew significantly. The average number of vehicles per provider was 17.5 in 2000, an increase of 60 percent from 1994. Annual trips per year increased 62 percent during this time, from 95 million in 1994 to 154 million in 2000.
SOURCE: Community Transit Association of America, Status of Rural Public Transportation-2000, available at http://www.ctaa.org/ntrc/rtap/pubs/status2000, as of Oct. 19, 2001.