Public transportation in perspective
Randall O'Toole blogs about that American Public Transportation Association "story" that I blogged about last week. His graph above puts the puffery in that press release story in better relief. So does his analysis:
It turns out that New York City subways alone were responsible for more than 92 percent of the increase in transit ridership. Nationally, ridership grew by 115 million trips; New York City subway ridership grew by 106 million trips. According to the New York Times, the growth in subway ridership resulted from “falling unemployment"...Not counting New York City subways, transit ridership nationwide grew by a mere 0.1 percent. This is a small fraction of the nation’s population growth of 0.7 percent or driving growth of 0.6 percent. Counting both subways and bus service, the share of nation’s transit riders carried by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority grew from 31.8 percent to 32.6 percent, yet New York City has just .32 percent of the nation’s urban population...APTA’s comparison with 1956, the last year more than 10.7 billion trips were taken on transit, is even more dismal. America’s population has grown by 85 percent since then, so per capita transit trips declined from 64 to 34. Over the same time period, miles of driving grew by more than 1,100 percent...
O'Toole's blog, The Antiplanner, is a good antidote to the groupthink on transportation issues that prevails here in Progressive Land.