Tough Transit

public_transitAfter WWII, public transit use peaked at 23 billion unique trips, meaning that 20% of the US population took public transit twice a day. Public transit usage then quickly declined, hitting a low of 6.6 billion unique trips in 1972. In 2014 ridership probably hit 10.8 billion trips, which, while the highest level since 1956, still means that just 4% of the population now uses public transit twice a day.

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  1. Those percentage of population figures are often misunderstood. There are many people who ride occasionally, or who use the service as a fallback alternative. Opponents of public transport read the same sentence as meaning that a small clique is riding every day.

    The other problem with that statistic is that the percentages range widely in actual situations. In my metro area, there are places like the urban college campus with high participation and there are places with free range bears and elk and less than 1% of the humans using transit.

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