Transit saw some big ridership increases over the past few years, but maybe not where you'd expect. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the top ten metropolitan areas where transit use has increased the most.
Since the 1950s, public transit hasn't exactly been the primary focus of most American cities. But it's out there, in pockets. New York City's subway system carries 1.5 billion riders per year. Washington D.C.'s metro sees a little more than 200 million annually. Chicago's carries about the same. By U.S. standards these systems are well-used and extensive. But the big boys of American transit aren't the whole story. Transit use is growing in many U.S. metropolitan areas, and the strongest growth is occurring where you might not expect.
On the bus this morning I was handed a survey asking me to detail my satisfaction with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's public transit system. As a daily bus commuter, I was more than happy to spend my two cents, but I'm a bit skeptical that those two cents will really do anything.
The survey included 29 questions, mostly of the "Yes or No" variety. They asked about things like the relative safety of the bus, its timeliness, its quality, the courtesy of the driver, and other general questions about my personal preferences for and opinions of the system and its service.