"With seven consecutive quarters of ridership increases, it's obvious that public demand for public transit is growing," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "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."
Melaniphy added, "We continue to see that in areas where the local economy is improving and new jobs are being added, public transportation ridership is up. This makes sense since nearly 60% 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."
All major modes of public transportation increased from January through September of 2012, APTA said. But light rail transit (LRT, up 4.2%) and heavy rail (or metro, up 3.6%) saw the largest increases in the first nine months.
The APTA ridership report is available online here.