Americans took 2.5 billion passenger trips on public transportation in the second quarter of 2019 — 11 million more trips than during the same period last year, according to the latest report by the American Public Transportation Association.
The increase in subway ridership was largely driven by the New York subway and Metro.
Some places, including King County, Wash., Sacramento and Minneapolis, showed significant gains in light-rail ridership. Commuter rail systems in central Florida, Denver and New York also had big increases. And ridership for the Blacksburg, Va., bus system was up nearly 28 percent for the second quarter of the year, according to the transportation association’s report.
For transit officials, the optimistic snapshot affirms that the billions spent on infrastructure projects and maintenance overhauls in recent years have translated into better service that is bringing back customers.
Metro reported that daily passenger ridership trips increased by 2.3 percent for the first six months of 2019. with ridership for April, May and June up 3.3 percent compared with the same period last year.
In New York, the country's largest and busiest rapid transit system, ridership was up 2.6 percent for April, May and June.
Atlanta and Boston subways also posted ridership gains, while the other big-city systems - Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco and Los Angeles - reported declines, according to the association report.
Still, officials find the data encouraging, especially for cities such as Washington and New York, where the troubled transit systems are more likely to make headlines for their problems than gains.
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