The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Even with gas approaching $4, the USA sees only 2% growth in transit

March 10 08
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced today that Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the highest level in 50 years, representing a 2.1% increase over the previous year.

“In light of high gas prices, increased road congestion, and expanded public transit services, this continued growth in ridership demonstrates how important public transportation is for America,” said APTA president William W. Millar. “Now with gas prices predicted to rise to $4 a gallon, there is a greater urgency for higher federal funding to expand U.S. public transportation systems so Americans have an affordable transportation choice.

“In addition, public transportation is a key part of the solution to decreasing greenhouse gases and meeting our national goal of energy independence,” concluded Millar. “When more people ride public transportation, there are more reductions in carbon emissions and our country is less dependent on foreign oil.”

Public transportation use is up 32% percent since 1995, a figure that is more than double the growth rate of the population (15 percent) and up substantially over the growth rate for the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on our nation’s highways (24%) for that same period.

Light rail (modern streetcars, trolleys, and heritage trolleys) had the highest percentage of ridership increase among all modes, with a 6.1 percent increase in 2007. Light rail systems showed double digit increases in the following areas: New Orleans (128.6%); Denver (66.2 %); Saint Louis (27.0%); Philadelphia (26.2%); Kenosha (18.5 %); the state of New Jersey (14.7%); and Memphis (11.3%).

Commuter rail posted the second largest ridership increase at 5.5 percent. The five commuter rail systems with the double digit ridership growth rate in 2007 were located in the following areas: Nashville (257.9%); Santa Fe (96.6%); Harrisburg (41.3%); Seattle (27.4%); Oakland (14.2%); Dallas/Fort Worth (12.1%); Stockton (11.9%); Portland, ME (11.8%); and Pompano Beach, FL (10.3%).

Heavy rail (subways) ridership increased by 3.1%. The heavy rail systems with double digit increases in ridership for 2007 were in the following cities: San Juan (13.2 %) and Atlanta (10.1%).

Bus service saw an increase of 1.0, but in communities with a population of less than 100,000, bus services saw an increase of 6.4% in 2007. Major increases by large bus agencies occurred in the following cities: Seattle (7.5%); Denver (7.0%); and Minneapolis (5.4%).

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