Public transportation ridership hits record 10.8 billion trips in 2014

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) said Monday that Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation in 2014, the highest annual number in 58 years.
   
“Some public transit systems experienced all-time record high ridership last year,” APTA Chair and Denver Regional Transportation District General Manager Phillip Washington said.

Increases didn’t just occur in large cities, either. Small towns also saw a rise in ridership.
   
Even with gas prices declining 42.9 cents in the last quarter of the year, public ridership increased even toward the end of the year,  APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy said. “This shows that once people give public transportation a chance, they discover additional benefits besides saving money.”

Another reason behind the ridership increases is the economic recovery in certain areas. Improved job markets helped fuel increases in Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Seattle, Washington; and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
  
From 1995-2014, public ridership increased by 39 percent overall, which is almost double the U.S. population growth, which was up 21 percent during that time.
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