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US Public transit ridership reaches highest level in 50 years

Light rail had the highest percentage of ridership among all modes, with a 6.1 percent increase in 2007.

By Melanie Turner

(Published in the Sacramento Business Journal on March 10, 2008)

Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the highest level in 50 years, representing a 2.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Public transportation use is up 32 percent since 1995, more than double the 15 percent population growth rate.

Light rail had the highest percentage of ridership among all modes, with a 6.1 percent increase in 2007, followed by commuter rail with a ridership increase of 5.5 percent.

For the Sacramento Regional Transit District, light-rail ridership was up 1.41 percent for the year to 14.9 million riders, from 14.7 million in 2006.

Bus ridership for Sacramento RT, on the other hand, was down 5.2 percent for the year to 16.5 million passengers in 2007, from 17.4 million in 2006.