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APTA: Heavy, commuter rail ridership grew in Q2

U.S. and Canadian residents took more trips on public transportation in second-quarter 2019 than during the same period last year, according to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) data. Released this week, APTA's Transit Ridership Report showed a 0.46 percent increase across all modes of public transportation in the second quarter, including a 1.44 percent increase on heavy-rail systems and a 3.54 percent increase on commuter-rail systems, APTA officials said in a press release. More people also rode buses in the second quarter compared to a year ago. The report showed bus ridership rose 0.5 percent in communities with populations of more than 2 million people, and 1.51 percent in systems in communities of less than 100,000 residents. Light-rail ridership did not fare as well, however. Total ridership on light-rail systems declined 4.13 percent in the quarter versus a year ago. “While trends fluctuate with driving patterns and gas prices, public transit systems continue to enhance the customer experience while also striving to innovate to meet the needs of our riders," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas. The report features data on unlinked transit passenger trips taken on U.S. and Canadian public transit rail and bus systems. Among heavy-rail systems, notable ridership increases included the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, up 3.27 percent, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, up 2.57 percent. Among commuter-rail agencies, notable ridership increases were reported on Sunrail in Florida, up 84.5 percent; Denver Regional Transportation District, up 29.2 percent ; and MTA Long Island Railroad, up 10.6 percent. Light-rail and streetcar systems that reported significant increases in ridership included King County Department of Transportation in Washington, up 10.5 percent; Sacramento Regional Transit District, up 10.2 percent; and Metro Transit in Minneapolis, up 8.6 percent.

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