Sunday, December 7, 2008

Q3 Transit Ridership Out

Expect to see these articles over the next few days. Below are links to ridership documents that haven't been updated on the APTA site quite yet (They'll be there Monday). 5% growth in transit ridership in Q3 (July to September) which is usually the heaviest ridership quarter of the year. Guess which mode has the highest ridership increase from percentage standpoint again. Light Rail at 10%. I'm not sure how they do the average weekday ridership calculations, but its interesting to see a lot of places in the 70,000 range that don't seem to get there often. Dallas, St. Louis, and Denver. Even Sacramento is close to 60k. Interesting.

Heavy Rail Numbers
Commuter Rail Numbers
Large Agency Bus Numbers
Trolleybus Numbers
Find Your Agency Totals


Alon Levy said...

The Q3 numbers are terrible. From July to September, virtually all cities saw sharp declines in transit ridership. In many the September '08 numbers were actually worse than the September '07 ones. Now that gas prices are still lower, it's likely that ridership has gone down further. I'll actually be surprised if the Q4 numbers show any increase from last year.

The reason light rail has the highest increase is that it's the one mode without large, old systems with high transit modal share. Heavy rail and commuter rail are dominated by New York, Chicago, and other systems with transit systems too big and established to grow 30% a year as do some new light rail systems.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I think the Q4 numbers are not going to be flat, but rather crash.

Terrible? Which numbers were you looking at Alon?

Alon Levy said...

I was looking at the individual reports for light, heavy, and commuter rail. Very few cities managed to even have flat ridership from July '08 to September, generally those with old systems. The only thing that was still growing as of September was buses - even, oddly, in New York, where buses and the subway have the same fare.

arcady said...

Random trivia that I derived from this data: in San Francisco, 57.5% of the ridership is on electric modes (trolleybus and light rail), not even counting intra-SF BART trips. In Boston, the number is 67.1%, which is probably more a testament to the sad state of the bus system than anything else

Thelonious_Nick said...

I'm sorry, Alon, I don't see what you're saying. Nearly all systems showed growth from September 2007 to September 2008. As far as the drop in numbers from July-September in 2008, that was a pattern that occurred also in 2007. Perhaps it is due to greater tourism in the summer, or to the annual summer increase in gas prices. It will be interesting to see what effect gas prices have on the Q4 numbers.

Alon Levy said...

Nick, the drop off from 7/08 to 9/08 was sharper than that from 7/07 to 9/07. For non-NYC heavy rail, it was 4% in 2008 and 3.6% in 2007 (the NYC subway had no drop off in 2008, compared with a half-percent increase in 2007). For light rail, it 5.3% in 2008 and zero in 2007. For commuter rail, it was 7% in 2008 and 5.5% in 2007.