Tag: ridership

Amtrak California ridership continues to grow in 2012

This is my sixth time posting a summary of Amtrak California ridership and the story continues to be the same – more riders. Those increases come with a poor economy, no improvements in service and (slight) increases in fares. The fastest grower continues to be the San Joaquin service, which runs from Bakersfield to Oakland or Sacramento, which just so happens to be the starting point for California’s future high speed rail service.

Amtrak has just released the May 2012 numbers, so lets take a look inside.

In 2008, hitting 80,000 riders on the San Joaquin was a big deal. In 2011, the train broke past 100,000 riders for the first time. This year the San Joaquin didn’t even go under 80,000, and has already seen two months of 100,000+ ridership. That’s with the summer ridership not being reported yet. Click to read more!

Expo line ridership increasing rapidly – 16,569 in June

A little less than three months ago, LA’s Expo Light Rail line finally opened after years of delay. The launch wasn’t perfect, as there were many kinks being worked out, and travel times were slower than expected (train times are now matching their schedules).

While many were happy to celebrate the launch of a new travel option, some were quick to proclaim doom. If you recall, I wrote a couple of posts about how the Reason Foundation decided that Expo was a failure based on some random counts they made within days of the line opening. They then took those random counts, and decided that they were an accurate reflection of lifetime ridership on Expo. Click to read more!

One more post about Reason and Expo

I know I said any time spent discussing the Reason article proclaiming terrible Expo Light Rail ridership is time wasted, and yet here I am, typing away. They’ve gone out of their way to link to me, so I might as well point out a couple more problems I have with their critique of the Expo line. But then no more, I’ve got too much of a backlog of stuff I’ve been wanting to talk about.

Here is their response to my previous post on the subject, which Streetsblog picked up on.

The too-early-to-judge complaint is one you hear all the time about rail, but curiously never about cars, movies, burgers, condominiums, software, new fashion lines, tech gadgets, or pretty much any other product that is brought to market. For all the palaver about “soft launches,” “slow rollouts” and the like, your opening sales figure is almost always a good indicator of how you’re going to do over the Long Tail. That’s why they call it the “Long Tail” and not the “Long Trunk” or the “Long Opposable Thumb.” Click to read more!

US transit ridership rises, but continues falling in Fresno

The New York Times reported yesterday that transit ridership in the US has increased drastically in the past year.

Americans took 200 million more rides last year on subways, commuter trains, light-rail systems and public buses than they did the year before, according to a new report by a leading transit association.

Americans took 10.4 billion rides on public transportation in 2011 — a billion more than they took in 2000, and the second most since 1957, according to a report being released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.

New York Times

The NYT attributes that increase both due to falling unemployment numbers, and also rising gas prices. I agree with that those factors do play some part, but it’s not the whole story. Unemployment is still quite high, by historical standards, and yet ridership is the highest it’s been since the 1950’s. That indicates that some people are shifting their mode of travel, even with the availability of disposable income. Click to read more!