Transit Passenger-Miles Traveled

Transit Passenger-Miles Traveled

Transit passenger-miles traveled (pmt) grew 24 percent between 1991 and 2001, from 37.5 billion pmt to 46.5 billion pmt [1, 2]. As they have historically, buses had the largest pmt share in 2001, generating 19.6 billion pmt or 42 percent of all transit pmt (figure 44). Also in 2001, heavy-rail pmt totaled 14.2 billion or 31 percent, commuter rail reached 9.5 billion pmt or 20 percent, light rail had 1.4 billion pmt or 3 percent, and other modes of transit, such as ferryboat and demand responsive,1 generated 1.8 billion pmt or 4 percent [2].

The top 30 transit authorities (ranked by unlinked passenger trips) logged 35.1 billion passenger-miles in 2001 or 76 percent of all transit pmt that year [2]. In 2001, people riding New York City Transit traveled 10.1 billion passenger-miles (or 22 percent of all passenger-miles out of the top 30 authorities) and the Chicago Transit Authority generated 1.8 billion pmt or 5 percent [3].


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, FederalTransit Administration, National Transit Summaries and Trends, 1996, available at, as of May 2003.

2. _____, “National Transit Summaries and Trends,” 2002 draft, available at, as of February 2003.

3. _____, National Transit Database, available at, as of March 2003.

1 Demand-responsive transit operates on a nonfixed route and a nonfixed schedule in response to calls from passengers or their agents to the transit operator or dispatcher.