Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956

Highlights of the APTA 2013 Ridership Report

March 10, 2014 - APTA published its complete 2013 Ridership Report which showed the highest annual public transit ridership numbers in 57 years. With a total of 10.7 billion trips taken on public transportation in 2013, this was the eighth year in a row that more than 10 billion trips were taken on public transportation systems nationwide.

The rail ridership highlights include ridership increases of 2.8% across the country on heavy rail, 2.1% on commuter rail, and 1.6% on light rail systems.

Both the New York Times and APTA note that these increases are a part of a long-term trend and economic growth is a part of the most recent numbers:

From 1995 to 2013, transit ridership rose 37 percent, well ahead of a 20 percent growth in population and a 23 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled, according to the association’s data.

Stronger economic growth is playing an important role in the increased use of public transit, as more people are using the systems to get to an increasing number of jobs, the association reported, and transit agencies are nurturing growth by expanding their systems or improving services.

For more information from APTA, including the ridership report please visit