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APTA Provides Resources to Help you Understand the Decline in Ridership


Recent declines in public transportation ridership have prompted a discussion on the factors influencing and causing those declines, and the steps public transit agencies should take to change the ridership trend. Recent nationwide trends, like the emergence of new mobility companies and new technologies, have the potential to reform the current mobility landscape and reduce personal automobile trips. However, public transportation agencies must adapt in order to reinforce the position of public transit as an efficient mode of travel. The public transportation industry can potentially capitalize on external technological innovation and broad economic trends in the coming years. The industry should work to implement adaptations that will provide increased access and use for this efficient mode, while reinforcing the value public transportation still provides.

This paper offers three complementary and inseparable analyses: 1) specific identification of the current trends in transit ridership; 2) presentation of adaptations to address declining ridership and boost ridership, while recognizing that success may not be guaranteed until broader macro-economic trends are resolved; and 3) contextualizing current ridership trends by addressing the many benefits of public transportation.

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