Transit Passenger-Miles of Travel

Transit Passenger-Miles of Travel

Transit passenger-miles of travel (pmt) grew 26 percent between 1993 and 2003, from 36.2 billion pmt to 45.6 billion pmt [2] (box 6-A). However, transit pmt declined 1.2 percent between 2001 and 2002, and it declined another 0.6 percent between 2002 and 2003. As they have historically, buses maintained the largest pmt share in 2003 (42 percent) while generating 19.1 billion pmt (figure 6-1). Also in 2003, heavy-rail pmt totaled 13.6 billion or 30 percent and commuter rail leveled off at 9.5 billion pmt, for a 21 percent share.

Light rail and demand-response1 services had only 3.2 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, of transit pmt shares in 2003. However, pmt for light rail more than doubled between 1993 and 2003 and nearly doubled for demand-response services (figure 6-2). In comparison, bus pmt grew 10 percent between 1993 and 2003.

The top 20 transit authorities (ranked by pmt) logged 32 billion passenger-miles in 2003 or 70 percent of all transit pmt that year. In 2003, people riding New York City Transit traveled 9.5 billion passenger-miles (or 21 percent of all transit pmt) and the Chicago Transit Authority generated 1.8 billion passenger-miles or 4 percent [1].


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database, 2003 Transit Profiles, available at, as of April 2005.

2. ______. National Transit Summaries and Trends, available at, as of April 2005.

1 Demand-response 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.