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Nearly 90% of All Transit Trips Impact Local Economy

A new report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), titled Who Rides Public Transportation, details public transit passenger characteristics including where passengers

are going, why they’re using public transit, how frequently they utilize transit and more. The report was released earlier this year in January.

The study shows that 87% of all trips on public transit have a direct economic impact on the local economy. That percentage breaks down like this: 49% of transit trips were taking passengers to or from work, 21% used transit to go shopping, and 17% took transit on trips for recreational spending or entertainment purposes. When asked why they chose to utilize public transportation, 60% of passengers said they preferred to take public transit over driving, biking, or walking. Some of the reasons that passengers preferred public transit included the convenience, helping the environment, and saving money.

From APTA’s report “Who Rides Public Transportation”

According to APTA’s Acting Director and CEO, Richard White, “The data is clear: Public transit riders’ impact on the economy has grown tremendously over the last 10 years. In addition to the work commute, Americans are taking transit to shop, dine, and attend entertainment venues more than ever before.”

Other important numbers to note include:

  • Public transit ridership has increased by 37% since 1995
  • The percentage of passengers using public transportation for shopping trips has more than doubled in the last ten years.

“These public transit trips impact communities of all sizes and a very diverse group of Americans ride public transit every day,” said White. “The facts speak for themselves. Investing in public transit is the obvious choice to help grow the economy.”

For more information on the report, visit APTA’s website at:

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