The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) posted, then withdrew, its fourth quarter 2017 ridership report last week. The Antiplanner downloaded it during the brief time it was available and reposted it here. I’ll let you know if there are any changes when APTA posts it again.
APTA collects its own ridership data from transit agencies, including agencies in Canada and a few U.S. agencies not in FTA’s National Transit Database (NTD). But the U.S. data should be pretty similar to the NTD numbers. Annual NTD numbers are based on the fiscal years of individual agencies so won’t be exactly similar to APTA’s calendar year data. But NTD also posts monthly numbers that should be similar to APTA’s.
APTA’s 2017 numbers show a 2.9 percent decline in U.S. transit ridership from 2016, while transit in Canada declined by 0.95 percent. Every major mode of transit declined except demand response (paratransit) and “other” (which includes ferries, people movers, monorails, vanpools, and a few other types). Heavy rail fell by 2.1%; light rail by 0.8%; commuter rail by 0.2%; and bus by 4.3%. In previous years, light rail ridership has grown faster than other modes mainly due to the opening of new lines. Apparently, either no new lines opened in 2017 or the gains from those openings weren’t sufficient to offset losses elsewhere. Continue reading