A new report looking at public transport use over the first three quarters of 2012 has found that ridership has increased by 2.6%, amounting to 201 million more trips taken in the first nine months of the year than were taken in the same time period in 2011.
“With seven consecutive quarters of ridership increases, it’s obvious that public demand for public transit is growing,” said Michael Melaniphy, President and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), authors of the report.
“As Congress works to resolve our country’s deficit problem, it also needs to work to resolve the transportation deficit. Otherwise public transit and highway funding will be facing an annual $15 billion shortfall in the next 10 years.”
Providing mobility is the main function of a public transport system, unsurprisingly, but there are critical links to the economy as well. APTA notes that, for every $1 billion invested into public transport in the US, 36,000 jobs are created and subsequently supported. As we’ve noted before, per dollar invested, mass transit is a clear job creation winner:
“We continue to see that in areas where the local economy is improving and new jobs are being added, public transportation ridership is up,” said Melaniphy. “This makes sense since nearly 60 percent of the trips taken on public transportation are for work commutes. Public transit service is an important resource for employees and employers as it is instrumental in helping people travel to their jobs.”
Specific cities listed as experiencing economic improvement linked with public transit ridership in the third quarter include: Grand Rapids (MI); Seattle (WA); St. Petersburg (FL); Phoenix (AZ); San Francisco (CA); Los Angeles (CA); and Riverside (CA).
Image Source: Ed Yourdon