Transit Facts

More than three hundred U.S. urban areas have transit service. But two out of three transit rides are taken in just seven regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Philadelphia, and Boston. Few Los Angeleans use transit, but Los Angeles makes it on the list simply because it has so many people. The other six join Honolulu and a few college towns as the only urban areas where transit has more than a 3 percent share of motorized transport. In only two other major urban areas--Seattle and New Orleans--does transit have more than a 2 percent share, and both are less than 2.5 percent.

Number of metropolitan areas tracked by the Census Bureau in 1998: 398

Share of urban area motorized passenger miles carried by transit in 1998: Per capita miles of transit use by urban area in 1998: Source: National Transit Database, table 27, for 1998 transit passenger miles; Highway Statistics 1998, table HM-72, for urban area vehicle miles (multiplied by 1.6 to get passenger miles).

Share of commuter trips carried by transit in 1990:

Source: 1990 Census
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