Transit Passenger-Miles of Travel

Transit Passenger-Miles of Travel

Transit passenger-miles of travel (pmt) grew 24 percent between 1992 and 2002, from 37.2 billion pmt to 45.9 billion pmt. However, transit pmt declined 1.2 percent between 2001 and 2002, similar to the 2.5 percent decline that occurred between 1992 and 1993. As they have historically, buses maintained the largest pmt share in 2002 (43 percent) while generating 19.5 billion pmt (figure 7-1). Also in 2002, heavy rail pmt totaled 13.7 billion or 30 percent and commuter rail reached 9.5 billion pmt, for a 21 percent share.

Light rail and demand-responsive services1 had only 3.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, of transit pmt shares in 2002. However, pmt on these transit services more than doubled between 1992 and 2002 (figure 7-2). In comparison, bus pmt grew 12 percent between 1992 and 2002.

The top 30 transit authorities (ranked by unlinked passenger trips)2 logged 35.2 billion passenger-miles in 2002 or 77 percent of all transit pmt that year. In 2002, people riding New York City Transit traveled 9.7 billion passenger-miles (or 28 percent of all passenger-miles out of the top 30 authorities) and the Chicago Transit Authority generated 1.8 billion pmt or 5 percent [1].


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database, 2002 Transit Profiles, available at, as of May 2004.

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.

2 See the following pages for further discussion and data on unlinked passenger trips and trips by authorities.