Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Air Quality

2.7 Billion+ Trips Taken On Public Transportation In 2nd Quarter

US public transportation ridership increased yet again in the second quarter of 2014. A press release report released by the American Public Transportation Association showed urban mobility increasing to over 2.7 billion trips on US public transportation in the second quarter. Urban travelers are making commonsense choices for their pockets and the environment, effecting a 1.1% increase in ridership over the same quarter last year, an increase of 30 million more trips.

This trend is stable and growing, as in five of the last eight quarters ridership on US public transportation improved, and in the second quarter it actually “outpaced urban vehicle miles traveled (VMT) which grew at 0.97 percent for this quarter.” Record ridership increased on the expanded and new lines opened in the past five years, proving that the investments are paying off. With better options, people will choose public transportation.

Ridership on MetroRail, a commuter rail line in Austin, Texas, rapidly increased in the second quarter and has quadrupled since it began only a short four years ago in 2010. Denver, Colorado, also had a ridership increase of 8.1% in the second quarter, topping previous records. Seattle is at another high point, with more people choosing the five-year-old light rail line and ridership increasing 17% in the quarter. This triumph marks 20 consecutive quarters of significant growth.

2332138306_bb9e97b4e9_oLynx light rail, Charlotte, NC by James Willamor | CC BY-SA 2.0 license

More examples from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA):

“Capital District Transportation Authority (Albany, NY), Spokane Transit (Spokane, WA) and Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (Canton, OH), saw quarterly record ridership numbers, as did San Mateo County’s commuter rail line Caltrain (San Carlos, CA). The Long Island Rail Road (New York, NY) saw the highest ridership for the month of June since June 2008 when gas prices were very high.”

ATPA partly attributes ridership increases to the high cost of gas nationally. Perhaps it is also due to people wanting to make more environmentally friendly changes and leave their gas guzzlers at home. One stat indicated that people are choosing public transit without the cudgel of prohibitive gas prices pushing them out of their cars. Many are enjoying good mobility free from environmental concerns, and who really wants to be stuck in traffic? In any case, change is what we find and more mass transit means fewer emissions.

According to the ATPA the 2014 Second Quarter Ridership Breakdown: “(Nationally) Heavy rail ridership increased by 3.2 percent. Cities showing the highest percentage of heavy rail increases: Boston, MA (7.0%); Chicago, IL (5.5%); New York, NY-MTA New York City Transit (3.9%); New York, NY-MTA Staten Island Railway (2.9%); Cleveland, OH (2.8%); and San Francisco, CA (2.0%).”

Light rail ridership increased by 2.8 percent: “Oceanside, CA saw a triple digit increase of 160% since the system was shut down from March-May 2013. Light rail systems in the following cities saw double-digit increases in the second quarter: San Diego, CA (28.8%) Minneapolis, MN (16.5%); Seattle, WA (14.4%); and Houston, TX (13.0%). Other light rail systems also showed the significant percentage of increases in the following cities: Denver, CO (8.1%); Charlotte, NC (7.1%); Salt Lake City, UT (6.8%); Newark, NJ (5.2%); and Hampton, VA (4.4%).”

transit oregonImage: mass transit in Portland, Oregon via Shutterstock 


Furthermore, ridership on commuter rail systems increased by 3.1% in the second quarter: “Double digit increases in the second quarter of 2014 in the following cities: Salt Lake City, UT (18.6%); Stockton, CA (17.0%); Lewisville, TX (15.5%); Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX (13.4%); Portland, OR (12.2%); and San Carlos, CA (10.0%). A ridership increase on light rail in the second quarter: Seattle, WA (7.4%); Anchorage, AK (6.9%); Boston, MA (6.0%); Oceanside, CA (5.7%); Newark, NJ (5.6%); and Austin, TX (3.3%).”

Bus ridership lost ridership slightly by 1.2%, with the exception of cities with populations of less than two million, where bus ridership increased.

For more info on how much people who ride transit are saving in the 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership, check out our previous article: Public Transportation In US Now Better Deal Than Ever, Thanks To Seemingly Ever-Rising Gas Prices.

“There is a fundamental shift going on in the way we move about our communities. People in record numbers are demanding more public transit services and communities are benefiting with strong economic growth,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.

“Access to public transportation matters,” continued Melaniphy. “Community leaders know that public transportation investment drives community growth and economic revitalization.”

Related Stories:

Americans Took A Record 10.7 Billion Public Transit Trips In 2013

Public Transportation Saves US 785 Million Hours a Year

This App Could Revolutionize Public Transit

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

In the market for an ambulance? How about an electric one!

Clean Transport

The Tesla Owners Club of Austin is keeping everyone updated with the progress of Tesla’s newest manufacturing site in Texas, Giga Texas. The progress...


Tesla is partnering with Del Valle ISD to train students who are graduating high school, Austin’s KXAN has reported. Alex Torrez, the principal of...

Clean Transport

Literally just as I finished an article for EV Obsession that included an interview with Gail Alfar of the Tesla Owners Club of Austin,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.