More Routes = More Riders - CityLab


Noticing a smaller huddle at the bus stop recently? You’re not crazy. Transit ridership dropped by 2.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, with a downturn in bus passengers leading the hemorrhaging. These declines have been in progress virtually across the board in North America since 2014.

What’s less clear is exactly why we’re all getting off the bus. The price of gas has gone down in recent years, which may be leading more Americans to choose to drive. The economy has improved, which could mean more of us can afford to buy and drive cars. There’s also the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft; some studies have shown they’re pulling more-affluent riders off transit at certain times of day.

But the strongest determinant of ridership’s rise and fall may not be the lure of another mode—it’s service cuts on bus and train systems. According to a new study by researchers at McGill University’s department of urban planning, transit agencies are repelling riders by shrinking routes and schedules on buses in particular. “The more service a transit authority provides (measured as the number of kilometers driven annually by public transit vehicles—VRK), the more transit trips it will attract,” the authors wrote in an article summarizing their research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C., last January.

Click here to read the full article: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/06/more-routes-more-riders/561806/

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